Prior to withdrawing Tennessee from the coalition of state Attorneys General challenging the 2012 DACA program Attorney General Herbert Slatery, III, met with Stephanie Teatro, a co-Director of the TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), who convinced Slatery to ignore the Constitution and the entire body of U.S. immigration law and advocate instead for illegal aliens in Tennessee.
After meeting with Teatro, Slatery reneged on his commitment to the coalition of Attorneys General challenging DACA. Even though there was no statutory or Constitutional authority for Obama’s unilateral action on DACA, or the fact that DACA does not alter anyone’s illegal immigration status, Slatery chose instead, to join TIRRC’s push for passage of the “DREAM Act of 2017” which would grant amnesty and a path to citizenship for the DACA eligible.
Slatery’s push for amnesty is also in line with the campaign being led by the New American Economy. In 2013, this same organization then called the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), was championing the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill which included amnesty and was supported by Sens. Alexander and Corker.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd is a named member of the PNAE.
In his letter to Sens. Alexander and Corker dated September 1, 2017, which Slatery wrote after meeting with Teatro, he encouraged the senators to support the DREAM Act. Teatro’s take on Slatery’s concession to TIRRC was quoted in a recent New Yorker article:
He did everything we hoped for, and at such a strategic moment.
We didn’t want our senators to feel uncomfortable challenging the Attorney General. If the state’s official position is against these kids, it will it make it harder for Senator Corker to support the DREAM Act. He’s up for election next year.
It was estimated that the 2012 DACA extended to over one million illegal aliens with approximately 8,300 having arrived illegally to Tennessee.
In 2014, Slatery joined Tennessee with twenty-five other states challenging the constitutionality of Obama’s efforts to expand the DACA program and add another amnesty program called DAPA for yet another group of illegal aliens. Taken together, the programs were estimated to offer amnesty and work permits for almost four million illegal aliens.
A federal judge granted the states’ request for an injunction, holding that there was no statutory authority for the executive branch to unilaterally confer lawful presence and work authorization on illegal aliens. In June 2017, the Secretary of Homeland Security revoked these two programs. The 2012 DACA program was not part of the lawsuit but is subject to the very same defects relied upon by the judge in the 2015 suit.
Slatery has chosen instead to be led by TIRRC’s agenda which includes amnesty, open borders, in-state college tuition for illegal alien students, and establishing sanctuary cities in Tennessee.
Teatro who came to the U.S. from Canada on a student visa and worked as a union organizer, now leads TIRRC with co-director Lindsey Harris whose husband is Metro Council member Colby Sledge. An ordinance drafted with TIRRC’s help, was co-sponsored by Sledge and would have made Nashville the most liberal sanctuary city in the U.S. The ordinance was withdrawn before a final vote.
TIRRC, an affiliate of the National Council of La Raza and a recipient of funding from a George Soros front group, has been agitating for Nashville to formalize its informal sanctuary city practices since the election of President Trump.
This may possibly be the second time that Slatery has followed the advice of TIRRC on an immigration issue.
Teatro was arguably the most vocal opponent of SJR467, the Tennessee General Assembly’s joint resolution seeking to challenge the federal refugee resettlement program for violating the Tenth Amendment. Slatery chose not to defend the the federal government’s commandeering of state revenues and usurping Tennessee’s sovereign interests under the Constitution.