Bredesen says he didn't think immigration bill was necessary

NASHVILLE - Gov. Phil Bredesen said Tuesday he signed a bill requiring local jailers to try and determine the immigration status of prisoners in part to keep the issue from "throwing gasoline on the fire" in this year's political campaigns.

But the governor, a Democrat who is barred by law from seeking a third term, also said that while he doesn't like how the bill is being used "symbolically," he views its requirements as not unreasonable in light of similar local-federal partnerships already under way in the state's four biggest counties.

"I guess you could do it (veto) as a symbolic act, but if you do so you're just throwing it out, you're throwing gasoline on the fire, and now there'll be a whole bunch of political campaigns this fall about 'we're going to toughen up this kind of thing,'" Gov.