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State lawmaker moves to help migrant kids in Tennessee amid concerns

There are still few answers given to questions following plane landing in Knoxville near midnight.
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 10:28 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - It has now been more than two weeks since a flight landed in Knoxville at McGhee-Tyson airport carrying unidentified people on board.

From Senator Marsha Blackburn to Congressmen Tim Burchett and Mark Green many still seem to be in the dark about who was on the airplane.

Now, with few answers to be had, one state lawmaker is saying the border isn’t Tennessee’s problem, but the children brought to the state, need to become the priority.

”Once these kids cross over the border and get up here in Chattanooga, Knoxville or Nashville it’s no longer a border issue, it’s an issue of what do we do with these children,” said District 10 State Senator Todd Gardenhire.

Gardenhire has been appointed to a special joint committee by Lt. Gov. Randy Mcnally, which is tasked with answering a handful of questions many in Tennessee have.

”And the questions are, how did they get here, why did they get there the way they did, is it costing the state anything, and what do we do with kids once they’re here,” said Sen. Gardenhire.

Gardenhire hopes the talks remain bipartisan and don’t carry the rhetoric with them that the national conversation is bringing in.

”The border issue is a federal issue, it is not a state issue. I’m only concerned about how do we take care of the children who are here now,” said Sen. Gardenhire. ”I come down on the side of we do what we can to take care of these children.”

While saying it’s illegal the way migrants are coming into the country, the Republican says he understands why they’re taking the risks they are.

”The things I saw there and the people I visited with and tried to communicate with up in the mountains of that area. It’s a situation nobody wants a child to brought up in and you can’t blame them for trying to get out of there,” added Sen. Gardenhire.

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