NASHVILLE, TN (AP) Gov. Phil Bredesen signed an executive order to move up enforcement of a new state law that calls for state inspectors to monitor the hiring practices of private firms working under state contracts.
The order lays out steps to make sure state contractors follow a law passed in the most recent legislative session to bar state contractors from hiring illegal immigrants.
The law, known as Public Chapter No. 878, is set to go into effect Jan. 1 but the order announced Sept. 5 begins enforcement immediately.
The order criticizes “substandard” enforcement of immigration by federal agencies, a point he repeated Tuesday during a meeting in which Nashville law enforcement officials pushed for a greater role in enforcement of immigration laws.
“... Although most illegal immigrants enter the United States for the peaceful purpose of pursuing a better life for themselves and their families, their failure to pursue lawful avenues for entering this country places an enormous burden on state resources...,” the order reads.
The order directs the Department of Finance and Administration to begin developing policies to follow the law, such as creating a system for how random background checks and inspections will be performed.
Contractors and subcontractors will be required to submit quarterly reports confirming they are not using illegal immigrants for labor, subject to verification by state inspectors.