This week, two proposed ordinances intended to effectuate sanctuary city practices that will protect illegal aliens who commit crimes in Davidson County, were introduced and processed through a first reading. The TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), a formal affiliate of the National Council of La Raza and recipient of funding from George Soros, assisted the bills’s primary co-sponsors, Bob Mendes and Colby Sledge, in drafting the language.
Sledge is married to TIRRC’s co-director Lindsey Harris.
Two days after President Trump issued his Executive Order calling for enforcement of U.S. immigration laws and the removal of criminal aliens, TIRRC called for local governments to stop cooperating with federal immigration authorities, a key feature of sanctuary city policies and practices. Councilman Mendes denies that the bills create sanctuary policies. However, Mayor Megan Barry, Mendes, Sledge and TIRRC, have consistently used coded language reflective of their bias and objectives with references such as “undocumented immigrant,” “non-citizens,” “welcoming” and “family reunification” to signal their support for open borders and shielding both criminal and non-criminal illegal aliens from deportation.
Openthebooks.com’s report which includes Nashville as a sanctuary city, says that “operationally, the DOJ enforces a legal definition of sanctuary city,” relying on 8 U.S.C. Section 1373, “as a local government entity not reporting to federal authorities: ‘aliens in custody.’” Shortly before leaving office, then Attorney General Loretta Lynch explicitly stated that sanctuary cities must be in compliance with this law or risk losing Justice Department funding.
A 2016 DOJ Inspector General’s memorandum used Section 1373’s legislative history to explain what this law was intended to do:
to give State and local officials the authority to communicate with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regarding the presence, whereabouts, and activities of illegal aliens. This section is designed to prevent any State or local law, ordinance, executive order, policy, constitutional provision, or decision of any Federal or State court that prohibits or in any way restricts any communication between State and local officials and the INS.
The second Mendes/Sledge bill seeks to terminate a 1996 contract between the Metro government and the U.S. Marshals Service in an effort to prohibit the Davidson County jail from being used to detain criminal aliens for ICE pick-up. Mendes and Sledge object to cooperating with federal authorities working to deport criminal aliens who they prefer be released into Nashville communities.
Mendes claims that nothing in his bill makes Nashville a sanctuary city and that his bill requires compliance with federal and state law. The Mendes/Sledge bills, however, are specifically intended to obstruct cooperation with federal authorities working to enforce immigration laws, the essential element that qualifies a location as a sanctuary city and in this regard, violates both federal and state law.