Mayor Briley is calling for the repeal of anti-sanctuary city law, HB2315.
On Tuesday, Mayor Briley issued an executive order in response to recent reports about the city’s probation department cooperation with federal agents in the deportation of illegal immigrants.
“If HB2315 is repealed or declared unconstitutional, my executive order will immediately direct Metro employees not to assist or cooperate with ICE agents,” said Briley.
In the order, Briley states: “We are a stronger city and nation when our neighbors feel safe when they leave their homes.
Today, many Nashvillians are afraid to leave their homes because they fear being arbitrarily separated from their families. In fact, many of the systems that are in place to ensure our well being and safety are crippled when all of us cannot participate freely in them.”
Last year, Tennessee enacted the law, HB2315, which prohibits state and local governmental entities and officials from adopting sanctuary city policies.
According to Briley, the law creates “unwarranted fear” within the city, making it less safe.
“HB2315 keeps parents from going to their children’s schools. It prevents babies from getting well check-ups or, worse, seeking emergency medical care. It keeps the elderly locked inside their homes, with no access to help should they need it. It results in families going hungry, and citizens being afraid to report crimes in their neighborhoods. It is immoral. It is bad for business. It is dangerous. And, it is not at all reflective of who we are as a state, city or a community.”
Briley’s executive order calls for the Davidson County delegation of the Tennessee General Assembly to fight to repeal HB2315, and says that he will dedicate the city and the full weight of this office in support of the effort.
The order also calls for the Metro Director of Law to challenge the law in court, with the goal of having it declared unconstitutional.
Additionally, a number of council members and council members-elect sent a letter to the General Sessions Court Administration Office, asking the department and the General Sessions Judges to ensure that the General Sessions Probation Department “immediately ceases assisting ICE with the identification and apprehension of Nashvillians for civil immigration matters.”
“We also call upon you to investigate the actions of the Metro General Sessions Probation Department, which, according to media reports, has actively coordinated with ICE,” stated the letter. “The Probation Department’s website also states that the probation department’s efforts “are spent making the community a safer place to live.” Again, deterring probationers from reporting to their assigned officers does the opposite of the department’s stated mission. Probationers become less likely to receive the court-ordered monitoring and assistance they need, thereby making all of our communities less safe. Additionally, such tactics increase mistrust among immigrant Nashvillians, who then become less likely to report crimes and more likely to become victims of crime themselves.”
In addition to council and community leaders, newly presiding judge of the General Sessions Court, Judge Lynda Jones, stood with Briley as he signed the order at city hall.