House of Representatives
State of Tennessee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2017
State Representative Susan Lynn
Wilson County Representative Expresses Strong Opposition to Metro Council Sanctuary City Ordinances
(NASHVILLE) — Representative Susan Lynn today expressed her disapproval of two ordinances proposed by Metro Councilmen Bob Mendes and Colby Sledge. The ordinances would in effect make Nashville a sanctuary city. “In 2009, the state legislature made it clear that sanctuary cities are prohibited in Tennessee. I voted for that law, and now some on the Metro Council are attempting to violate state law and greatly endanger our citizens.” Stated Lynn.
The Metro Resolutions have passed 2nd reading, a third vote of approval would mean that they become city ordinance. “The Sheriff of Davidson County is a Constitutional officer and as such he does not take direction from the Metro Councilmen on which laws to enforce – he has to enforce all of the laws. What I strongly object to is the intent to endanger the citizens. Every night gang members cross the county-line and commit crimes in outer counties such as my district. The councilmen would make this problem worse and I do not appreciate that.” Lynn stated.
The first ordinance seeks to prohibit Metro Nashville employees from inquiring into the immigration status of anyone seeking services or for other reasons – this would be in violation of state law. It could allow illegal aliens to access public benefits to which they are not entitled.
A second ordinance would seek to end Metro’s agreement to cooperate with ICE detainers. The intent is for the Davidson County jail to no longer detain illegal criminal aliens for ICE pick-up which Lynn believes would pose a huge danger to the community.
Such non-cooperation is prohibited in TCA 7-68-103. The law states that local governments are prohibited from adopting any ordinance that prohibits a local government or employee from complying with federal law pertaining to persons who reside within the state illegally. It also prohibits interference with local government, an official or an employee who is attempting to comply with federal law pertaining to persons that reside within the state illegally.
In 2006, Gustavo Reyes Garcia, an illegal alien who had fourteen previous arrests, including four DUIs, slammed his SUV into a sedan driven by Sean and Donna Wilson of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., killing them both. At the time of the accident Mr. Wilson was driving Mrs. Wilson to her chemotherapy appointment. Lynn recalls that this tragedy was a catalyst to finally end the issuance of drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens in Tennessee, and for the creation of other laws such as the sanctuary cities law.
“I want to make the members of the Metro Council aware of the very real dangers and horrible impact such ordinances, if obeyed, could have on the lives of citizens. If enacted, these resolutions are in clear violation of state law. Further, state law grants citizens’ legal recourse against Nashville. Finally, the Counsel can be assured that I along with other members of the 110th Tennessee General Assembly, will take this matter up in January when the legislature reconvenes.”