The Joint Study Committee on Refugee Issues this week approved a report that recommends a variety of proposals related to Tennessee’s refugee issues, but one state legislator said they don’t go far enough.

The recommendations could influence future legislation.

State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) told The Tennessee Star on Friday that he did not help write the committee’s final recommendations — but he instead wrote a separate statement with recommendations of his own.

“We should immediately suspend the licenses of any entities that engage in transporting or placing any of these unaccompanied minors with homes or sponsors. The DCS [Tennessee Department of Children’s Services] confirmed at the hearing last Thursday that after these children leave the entity’s place and go to the sponsor home the DCS has no way of knowing who these family members or sponsors are. There is no follow up,” Griffey said.

“It was also clear from the committee that these placement entities only want to get paid for placing the child. That is just a recipe for disaster in my estimation. Before we allow anyone to make money off placing kids with homes or relatives or supposed relatives or whomever then we ought to make darn sure these kids aren’t becoming human trafficking victims, particularly with this class of people at the border.”

Griffey also said he wants to give the DCS immediate and complete authority and oversight over any placement of unaccompanied and illegal minor children.

“They ought to do home studies and case management follow up to make sure these kids are OK. If they are going to send them out of state then maybe they shouldn’t accept the kids anyway in Tennessee,” Griffey said.

“The cost of this management for the state to do the home studies and case management, these placement entities and the federal government ought to pick up the cost. We didn’t create this situation. Joe Biden and his lawless administration, in my opinion, created this entire situation.”

Committee members, in their report, recommended, among other things, the following:

• In order to urge transparency from the federal government surrounding the transportation of Unaccompanied Alien Children [UAC] in Tennessee, the committee recommends a resolution calling upon the federal government to seek approval from the state prior to the location of UAC within our state’s borders and expressing support for the “Migrant Resettlement Transparency Act.”

• In order to more accurately assess and regularly evaluate the number of UAC being housed within Tennessee, the committee recommends additional reporting requirements for residential childcare agencies (RCCA).

• The Immediate reporting of juveniles missing from a licensed facility to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star and The Georgia Star News. Follow Chris on Facebook, Twitter, Parler, and GETTR. Email tips to [email protected].