NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An immigrant rights group is opposing a bill in Tennessee that aims to require mothers to prove U.S. citizenship to receive government prenatal care and women, infants and children food benefits.
At a news conference Tuesday, Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition Co-Executive Director Stephanie Teatro said Republican Rep. Bruce Griffey’s bill goes after U.S. citizen babies born to parents in the country illegally.
Another Griffey bill is expected to limit birth certificates to only children of parents in the country legally, which the immigrant group also opposes.
Karla Vazquez said the bills target Tennessee’s most vulnerable, including her 2-month-old son born as a U.S. citizen who would be affected under Griffey’s legislation because of her immigration status.
The bills follow 2018 anti-sanctuary city legislation passed by the GOP-dominated Legislature.