The Trump Effect: Nashville won't become a sanctuary city after all

The Nashville Metro Council seemed poised to pass a bill that would make the city a sanctuary for illegal aliens.  On June 20, the council passed a bill, the "Nashville Together" ordinance, by a vote of 25-8.  A final vote on the measure was scheduled for July.

But an unfavorable legal opinion by the city director of law and pressure from state Republicans forced the council to withdraw the bill.

Daily Caller:

Although the term "sanctuary city" is not mentioned in the bill's draft language, it would effectively prohibit all voluntary cooperation with immigration officials. If passed, the measure would have prevented Metro employees, including police officers, from requesting information about a person's immigration or citizenship status. It also would have blocked the Davidson County Sheriff's Office from honoring immigration detention requests from immigration authorities – commonly known as "detainers" – unless they came with an arrest warrant issued by a federal judge.

After passing the second of three Metro Council votes, the bill came under fire from Republicans in the statehouse, who accused city lawmakers of flouting an existing statewide ban on sanctuary cities and promised a swift legislative response. State Sen. Jim Tracy said state law would "overtrump" whatever measure emerged from the Council. 

"Obviously, the Metro resolution is contradictory of the state prohibition," Tracy told WGNS News Radio the day after the city council approved the bill. "The first response, should the ordinance pass, is to request an Attorney General's opinion. Then if any further legislative action is needed, it will be filed immediately."

Further resistance came from Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, who panned the bill as a threat to public safety and insisted he had the final word on the operation of county jails. Law Director Cooper agreed with that assessment, telling the Metro Council that it could not keep Hall from cooperating with federal authorities on immigration.

Facing doubts about the bill's legality and the threat of retaliation from state Republicans, Nashville Mayor Megan Berry on Tuesday urged the council to "rethink" its upcoming vote. Her suggestion appears to have killed any remaining momentum the proposal had in the Metro Council.

Councilman Colby Sledge, one of the bill's co-sponsors, promised to continue the push toward a more "welcoming" policy on immigration.

"Whether or not there is legislation, we have to continue working on this," he said. "There's no choice here."

"Unfortunately, we've had a lot of voices come from outside tell us who Nashville is, and that's not who we are," he added.

If the lawmaker could promise to keep all illegal aliens in the city of Nashville, "who we are" might be relevant.  Instead, criminal illegals not being deported when they are arrested endangers cities and towns around Nashville.  People in those municipalities did not vote to allow criminal illegals to come to their communities. 

President Trump's immigration policies have encouraged pushback against advocates for illegal aliens who want to legalize their stay in America.  I doubt very much there would have been this kind of opposition during the Obama years.  In fact, it would have been unheard of.

Tennessee's law that bans sanctuary cities is similar to a Texas law currently being challenged in court.  Can a state tell a city what its policies will be relating to immigration?  It will be interesting to see how these cases are decided.

The Nashville Metro Council seemed poised to pass a bill that would make the city a sanctuary for illegal aliens.  On June 20, the council passed a bill, the "Nashville Together" ordinance, by a vote of 25-8.  A final vote on the measure was scheduled for July.

But an unfavorable legal opinion by the city director of law and pressure from state Republicans forced the council to withdraw the bill.

Daily Caller:

Although the term "sanctuary city" is not mentioned in the bill's draft language, it would effectively prohibit all voluntary cooperation with immigration officials. If passed, the measure would have prevented Metro employees, including police officers, from requesting information about a person's immigration or citizenship status. It also would have blocked the Davidson County Sheriff's Office from honoring immigration detention requests from immigration authorities – commonly known as "detainers" – unless they came with an arrest warrant issued by a federal judge.

After passing the second of three Metro Council votes, the bill came under fire from Republicans in the statehouse, who accused city lawmakers of flouting an existing statewide ban on sanctuary cities and promised a swift legislative response. State Sen. Jim Tracy said state law would "overtrump" whatever measure emerged from the Council. 

"Obviously, the Metro resolution is contradictory of the state prohibition," Tracy told WGNS News Radio the day after the city council approved the bill. "The first response, should the ordinance pass, is to request an Attorney General's opinion. Then if any further legislative action is needed, it will be filed immediately."

Further resistance came from Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, who panned the bill as a threat to public safety and insisted he had the final word on the operation of county jails. Law Director Cooper agreed with that assessment, telling the Metro Council that it could not keep Hall from cooperating with federal authorities on immigration.

Facing doubts about the bill's legality and the threat of retaliation from state Republicans, Nashville Mayor Megan Berry on Tuesday urged the council to "rethink" its upcoming vote. Her suggestion appears to have killed any remaining momentum the proposal had in the Metro Council.

Councilman Colby Sledge, one of the bill's co-sponsors, promised to continue the push toward a more "welcoming" policy on immigration.

"Whether or not there is legislation, we have to continue working on this," he said. "There's no choice here."

"Unfortunately, we've had a lot of voices come from outside tell us who Nashville is, and that's not who we are," he added.

If the lawmaker could promise to keep all illegal aliens in the city of Nashville, "who we are" might be relevant.  Instead, criminal illegals not being deported when they are arrested endangers cities and towns around Nashville.  People in those municipalities did not vote to allow criminal illegals to come to their communities. 

President Trump's immigration policies have encouraged pushback against advocates for illegal aliens who want to legalize their stay in America.  I doubt very much there would have been this kind of opposition during the Obama years.  In fact, it would have been unheard of.

Tennessee's law that bans sanctuary cities is similar to a Texas law currently being challenged in court.  Can a state tell a city what its policies will be relating to immigration?  It will be interesting to see how these cases are decided.

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