Nashville’s mayor, Megan Barry (D), urged the Metro Council to reconsider its “Nashville Together” bill that would have effectively made Nashville a sanctuary city.
The problem for Barry was the Metro Director of Law’s assessment that the bill was unenforceable. Between her urging and state-wide pushback from Republicans, the bill has been withdrawn.
The Nashville Metro Council plans to withdraw a controversial immigration bill amid intense opposition from city officials and state lawmakers, effectively ending a campaign to make Nashville a sanctuary city.
The sponsors of of the bill said Wednesday they had no choice but to table the proposal because of mounting pressure from state Republicans and a legal opinion from City Director of Law Jon Cooper, who said last week the ordinance is not enforceable as written. At-large Councilman Bob Mendes, the bill’s primary sponsor, conceded that “political realities” forced a retreat, the Tennessean reported.
“Despite the popular support in Davidson County, there’s been a great deal of opposition from outside the county, and these bills have become a political football for people running for governor in the Republican primary and other races statewide,” Mendes said at a news conference Wednesday.
The withdrawal is a stunning setback for the bill’s supporters, who just one week ago appeared to be on the cusp of victory. The Metro Council passed the bill — known locally as the “Nashville Together” ordinance — in a 25-8 vote on June 20, and the measure appeared certain to pass a final vote scheduled for July.
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.
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