Tennessee lawmakers are often bound by federal legislation, and the fight against illegal immigration is no exception. But thanks to a bit of creative thinking by a Goodlettsville Democrat, the fight goes on:

A proposal to make it a crime for illegal immigrants to accept pay for work done in Tennessee is headed for floor votes in both chambers of the General Assembly. . . .

The measure sponsored by Sen. Joe Haynes, a Goodlettsville Democrat, could lead to fines of $500, up to six months in jail and require illegal immigrants to forfeit any earnings they receive.

Haynes says the Legislature is prevented from enacting tougher penalties against employers who hire illegal immigrants because the state must defer to federal laws on the matter.

But federal laws do not pre-empt increased penalties against workers.

Now that’s thinking outside of the box.