You'd rightfully expect an immediate problem I was desperate to immediately fix, no matter what the cost.
"Siege" must have a different meaning to Sen. Gresham. She's "under siege," but she's just now bothering to push through legislation about it, here at the end of the session. She's "under siege," but, eh, if some places want to opt out, that's fine. In siege terms, this is like turning to the angry mob chasing you with torches and pitchforks and telling some of them that they can stay.
And, best yet, she's "under siege," but not so much that she wants the state to pay for it.
Sure, politicians can say that they don't want "taxpayers" to have to pay more. But let's be honest, folks: When you're telling all local law enforcement that they HAVE to run everyone who can't prove their citizenship status when they are arrested through ICE, someone's going to have to pay for it — for the extra time it takes to run folks, for the extra time you have to hold them until you hear back from ICE, for the lawsuits if people in your community notice that drunken Smiths on jet skis who get arrested with no ID don't face the same scrutiny as drunken Garcias on jet skis, etc.
So let's just be clear. If this law is implemented, and your community isn't smart enough (or able) to opt out, the money to run this program has to come from someplace. And it's not coming from the state. So it's going to be on you to open up your wallet. This will still cost you, just not in a way you're going to immediately associate with Gresham having raised your taxes — even though that's exactly what she's proposing.
And for what? I think we all know Sen. Gresham doesn't actually feel "under siege." If she did, she would have done something last year with this bill when it was introduced, instead of lollygagging around for two years.
Sen. Gresham wants you, small communities in Tennessee, to pay for her unfunded mandate so that she has a talking point during the election. She was "tough on illegal immigration."
Not so tough that she was willing to demand money for her program, or training for the people who'd have to implement it — but tough enough to look good on an election mailer.
Let me be clear: She's trying to pass legislation so that you, the rural taxpayer —because all the urban folks are quickly opting out of this — will pay for a bullet point in her reelection campaign.
Folks, you know me. I could easily write a big long post about how wrong-headed this legislation is and how anti-human and inhospitable. But, frankly, some folks are willing to give up their liberty to feel safe from illegal immigrants. No matter how much people from across the political spectrum try to raise the alarm — namely, that you're giving up a lot to make sure illegal immigrants give up more — some folks don't care how much liberty they personally stand to lose.
But I know y'all care about being taxed. So I ask you: Who do you think is going to pay for this? And are you really going to let politicians tell you that they didn't raise your taxes when they pass legislation that requires your local municipality to raise your taxes? How is that not raising your taxes?
You really want to pay more so that Dolores Gresham can pretend she's done something about illegal immigration?
Is this a scam we're really going to fall for?