Tennessee lawmakers announce study group on unaccompanied migrant issues

Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, addresses the House members after being sworn in as House Speaker during a special session of the Tennessee House Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE - Tennessee's Senate and House speakers announced Friday creation of a special committee to look into the issue of unaccompanied migrant children coming into Chattanooga and other parts of the state under a federal program that has generated controversy in Chattanooga.

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, the Republican Senate speaker from Oak Ridge, and House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, said the Study Committee on Refugee Issues will "evaluate" the number of migrant children being "permanently relocated" here by the federal government as well how many of the children are being flown into the state and later relocated to other states.

Another task of the panel, according to McNally and Sexton, is seeking ways to "increase transparency from the federal government regarding the relocation of unaccompanied migrant children to and through Tennessee, and the impact, financial and beyond, as it relates to the federal government's migrant relocation program."