View Full Version : Illegal immigrants involved in fatal crashes may face higher bail

02-16-2012, 10:33 AM
A Republican lawmaker wants higher bails set for illegal immigrants involved in serious injury or fatal crashes.

A bill proposed by state Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas would lead to higher bail amounts for illegal immigrants in those situations by automatically treating them as a flight risk — making it harder to bond out before trial.

Carr said the bill follows his philosophy of tackling illegal immigration one issue at a time, something he says the state should do to “de-magnetize itself from the dependency illegals have on state services and the fact that they feel like they’re welcome here.”

“They’re not welcome in Tennessee,” he said.

Carr’s bill has moved steadily through the legislature and is scheduled to be discussed today in the House Judiciary Committee.

Across the country, state legislators have been getting more aggressive in tamping down on illegal immigration.

Georgia is mulling over provisions to bar illegal immigrants from state colleges and universities. Iowa may allow anyone to file a complaint with the state’s attorney general with allegations that a business is employing illegal immigrants. The National Conference of State Legislatures reported earlier this year that such proposed state legislation reached record numbers across the nation in 2011.

Such legislation has been met by widespread opposition from immigration civil rights advocates and attorneys who say immigration enforcement should remain a federal function.

Carr’s law in particular is being questioned on its constitutionality, given federal and state laws governing how bail should be set for suspects. And it’s unclear how the law would interact with a new program called Secure Communities that requires all jailers to check immigration status of arrestees so federal authorities can detain illegal immigrants.