Haslam Doubts Nashville Will Be Able To Rein In Federal Law Enforcement On Immigration

Jun 6, 2017

Governor Bill Haslam says he'll stay out of the debate over how much Nashville law enforcement must cooperate with federal immigration authorities, but he doubts the city will have much luck if it hopes to defy President Trump.

The Metro Council is expected to start discussion of some limits later this month. The proposals include requiring federal authorities to present a warrant if they want immigrants to be held longer than U.S.-born arrestees. The ordinance undergoes its first reading — typically a formality — on Tuesday night. 

Haslam says he isn't going to stand in the council's way.

"We'll let their city council have that debate," he says.

But, he adds, "I think in the end we've seen that when the states have tried to say we're not going to go along with the federal government — I don't think it's any different with the cities to say they're going to do that. At the end of day, the federal rules are going to override."

Some state lawmakers have proposed stripping funding from cities that declare themselves to be "sanctuaries" for immigrants.

But supporters of the proposed ordinance say it stops short of classifying Nashville as a "sanctuary" because the city wouldn't be refusing to work with federal authorities. They would, instead, be setting more ground rules.