It’s unclear when — if ever — a proposed ordinance limiting Davidson County's cooperation with federal immigration authorities will be voted on. It was originally scheduled for final passage in the Metro Council on July 6, but the sponsoring councilmen pulled the measure. They say there is no imminent plan to reintroduce the proposals, though they plan to keep the conversation alive.
Sponsors cited public pressure from politicians outside of Nashville. Councilman Bob Mendes called the bill a political football for Republican candidates running for governor.
"Sanctuary Cities are illegal. DC has failed us on immigration. But here in TN we must follow the law & say NO to Sanctuary Cities." ~Randy pic.twitter.com/QotkfkVyo6
— Randy Boyd (@randyboyd) June 27, 2017
But Mayor Megan Barry also urged the council to reconsider after the ordinance passed on second reading with 25 votes and 8 against.
"My council colleagues, even those who disagreed, had a full conversation in the floor of the council," co-sponsor Councilman Colby Sledge said. "And I’m disappointed that the administration felt like that conversation wasn’t worth having right now. I think it is. I think a lot of people in Nashville think it is, and I think we need to show that it’s important."
If passed, it would have been the closest Nashville has come to having sanctuary city-like laws.
A second measure aimed to renegotiate a 21-year-old contract allowing the Metro jail to act as a regional ICE detention center. That was also withdrawn.
A nine page legal opinion released by Metro’s top lawyers this week said the measure could violate the city’s own charter. Mendes said the report was “damaging.”