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Thread: Mayor Barry urges council to rethink Nashville immigration ordinance after legal opin

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Mayor Barry urges council to rethink Nashville immigration ordinance after legal opin

    Mayor Barry urges council to rethink Nashville immigration ordinance after legal opinion

    Joey Garrison , USA Today Network - Tennessee Published 9:25 a.m. CT June 27, 2017 | Updated 1 hour ago

    Mayor Megan Barry says the Metro Council should reconsider controversial legislation that would limit Nashville's participation in carrying out federal immigration law now that the city's top attorney says the ordinance is not enforceable.

    In a legal opinion issued Tuesday, Metro Director of Law Jon Cooper says that under state law the Metro Council cannot prohibit the Nashville sheriff, a state constitutional officer who controls the city's jails, from cooperating with federal authorities on immigration.

    "Since the sheriff's core responsibility is custodial control over the jail, the council does not have the authority to direct how employees of the Sheriff's Office manage their time and resources in jail," Cooper writes in the opinion.

    Barry followed with a statement that raised new concerns from the Metro Police Department about the bill and advised the council to rethink the bill.

    “It is clear from this legal opinion that (the ordinance) does not apply to Sheriff Daron Hall, who has said he will continue to honor detainer requests from the federal government," Barry said.

    "Additionally, the Metro Nashville Police Department has concerns that the ordinance would prohibit them from recommending U visa applications for immigrants who are victims of crime and willing to help put dangerous criminals in jail. Losing that law enforcement tool could jeopardize public safety and would run counter to the intentions of the sponsors to make Nashville a more welcoming city for New Americans.

    “The Metro Council should give serious consideration to these factors and reconsider whether this legislation is appropriate or necessary at this time.”

    Sheriff Daron Hall has already made clear he does not plan to change detention practices at Nashville's jails the council approves the legislation, which is up for a final vote on July 8.

    Although the legal opinion is limited to the question of the sheriff's powers — not the application of the bill to other departments such as police — It delivers a blow to the scope of the legislation.

    Nevertheless, At-large Councilman Bob Mendes, a lead sponsor, indicated he plans to press on with the ordinance.

    "I don't anticipate it changing my perspective," Mendes said, adding that he still needs to read the opinion.

    Dubbed the "Nashville Together" ordinance by supporters, the bill, advanced by a 25-8 vote last week, would prohibit Metro from using local money, resources or facilities — including jails — to assist in enforcing federal immigration laws, or to share information about a person's custody status or court dates.

    Metro employees, including police, would be prohibited from requesting information about a person's immigration or citizenship status under the ordinance.

    In addition, the Davidson County Sheriff's Office would no longer be able to honor an immigration-related detention request unless it is accompanied by a warrant issued under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

    Cooper, who responding to two questions posed by Hall on the sheriff's powers, goes on to say in his legal opinion that under federal law local officials are "expressly authorized" to cooperate with federal officials related to immigration.

    "If federal officials present the sheriff with lawfully committed persons for detention, he is authorized to receive and control their custody until they are discharged," he writes. "The council cannot by ordinance alter this duty that is established by state law and the charter."

    The legislation has drawn fierce pushback from Tennessee state Republicans, who have alleged the bill would make Nashville a "sanctuary city" and have vowed to overturn the council's action in the state legislature.

    Mendes and other council supporters have rejected the "sanctuary city" tag, noting that legislation would still require Metro to follow all state and federal law.

    In a statement, House Speaker Beth Harwell said she "strongly concur(s)" with Cooper's opinion.

    "Sherriff Daron Hall’s powers cannot be restricted by the Metro Council," Harwell said. "The sheriff is a state constitutional officer, and his duties are prescribed by the General Assembly. Our local, state, and federal law enforcement officials must be able to work together to keep our children, families, and communities safe, and I will make sure they have the power to do that."

    Cooper had hinted at his opinion at last weeks's council meeting, but he held off on giving a formal opinion.

    Council attorney Mike Jameson has suggested he could see a case for a competing legal opinion from Cooper's, but he has not formed one yet.

    Harwell, state Sen Jim Tracy, R-Tennessee, and Councilwoman Sheri Weiner have each requested a legal opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery on the issue.
    Judy likes this.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Nashville is a Sanctuary City. Democrats are in charge of major Tennessee cities. Illegal immigration has done so much damage and the numbers present give strength to those advocating on their behalf. Many Republicans are standing with them, too.
    Judy and Beezer like this.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    It's so disgusting what's going on in our country an even in cities like Nashville.
    Beezer likes this.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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