Tennessee Eagle Forum: Proposed Limits on Employing Legal Immigrants Shows Bigotry

TN bill would limit number of foreign workers at charter schools

WBIR-TV - Apr 2, 2012

A conservative group that has warned of the growing influence of Islam is promoting a bill that would limit how many legal immigrants charter schools can hire, drawing opposition from charter school and immigrant groups.

The Tennessee Eagle Forum, an organization that has criticized U.S. immigration policy and last year pushed for passage of the so-called "Shariah bill," is pressing Tennessee lawmakers to pass legislation that would cap the number of foreign workers charter schools can hire. ...


Letter to The Tennessean, Mar 29, 2012:


The Tennessee Eagle Forum wants a bill passed that limits employment of legal immigrants in charter schools to 3.5 percent. LEGAL immigrants!

We all know that they want no Muslims near the children, since they were behind the anti-Shariah bill, but they are targeting people in this country legally, including Europeans, South Americans, Central Americans, Asians and Africans, no matter what religion they practice.

Maybe we should break out the “No Irish Need Apply” signs again. Welcome to the land of the free and the home of the bigot.

Carolyn DiGiambattista


Floor votes set  for charter bill

 The Tennessean, Apr. 4, 2012

Legislation that would limit how many foreign workers charter schools can hire is heading to the floor of the state House of Representatives and Senate, setting it on a path for passage this month.

The House Education Committee approved a measure Tuesday that would restrict hiring of legal immigrants who hold permits to work in the United States to no more than 3.5 percent of a charter school’s staff. The bill also would require charter schools to disclose all funding that comes from foreign sources.

The move comes after the Senate Education Committee agreed to a companion bill last week. Both versions could come up for final votes within the next week.

Backed by the Tennessee Eagle Forum, a group that has expressed concern about the influence of Islamists in the United States, the legislation comes amid rising criticism of foreign-backed charter schools. None of Tennessee’s 52 charter schools is backed by an overseas entity.

The bill’s sponsors say the measure will give priority to Tennessee teachers in hiring and increase transparency about schools’ funding sources. The bill includes an exception for foreign language instructors, and backers say it will give chartering authorities the flexibility to reject charter applications if they hire too many foreign workers.

Charter school advocates oppose the measure. They say it would create a regulatory burden by forcing schools to track down the source of every donation, and it does not give schools adequate recourse to challenge rejected applications.

Immigrant rights groups add that the bill would discourage charter school participation in neighborhoods with large foreign-born populations.

The House Education Committee approved the bill on a voice vote after a short debate. Questions mainly centered on whether the bill would discourage foreign companies from donating to charter schools in Tennessee.

The Senate Education Committee expressed stronger reservations but nonetheless sent it to the floor last week. That committee changed some of the bill’s wording to make it clear chartering authorities do not have to reject schools for having too many foreign-born workers, and they added a severability clause that would preserve parts of the bill if some portions are struck down by the courts.

Democrats had introduced a similar measure, but it was withdrawn last week.


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