Three announced or anticipated Republican candidates for governor are weighing in with strongly worded opposition to the Metro Davidson County Sanctuary City plan that passed earlier this week on second reading and which is headed to a final vote in July. Proponents claim the ordinances are “in line with state and federal law” but one of the Mendes/Sledge bills if passed will, by prohibiting Metro Nashville employees from inquiring into immigration status, effectively enable illegal aliens to access public benefits they would otherwise be barred by law from obtaining.
Announced candidates Bill Lee and State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) along with Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) delivered strong messages of opposition to the Metro Nashville Council’s plan. Announced candidate Randy Boyd has not commented on the plan.
Congressman Black, who is a member of the House Border Security Caucus and author of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, is expected to run for Governor though she has not yet confirmed her plans. She has condemned the Metro Council decision to obstruct immigration law, putting illegal aliens first and the safety and security of Tennessee families last.
“First and foremost, as a mother and a grandmother, I implore the Council members to start holding illegal immigrants accountable for crime and acts of violence,” Black stated. “Sanctuary city policies to help and support criminal illegal immigrants pose a direct threat to our citizens and undermine the rule of law.”
“In Congress, I’m working with my colleagues to pass the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act to cut off funding for any municipality that helps illegal immigrants hide from the law. It’s time for Mayor Barry to stop borrowing liberal policies from California and New York and start putting the safety and security of Tennessee families first,” said Congressman Diane Black.
State Senator Beavers has already launched her gubernatorial campaign and makes it clear that as governor she will have zero tolerance for the so-called “sanctuary cities.”
“I will use the powers of the Governor’s office to defund any city in Tennessee that chooses to violate state and federal laws by embracing and encouraging illegal aliens to locate to our state,” Beavers said.
“It is unfortunate that the laws we have regarding sanctuary cities do not impose detailed, severe penalties on those who break the law. But as Governor I will strongly encourage the Legislature to add specific punitive provisions into the law that will discourage cities from putting our families at risk by shielding those who have no respect for our laws,” she added.
Beavers added that she has long endorsed having an elected Attorney General in Tennessee, and that, perhaps, if the Attorney General had to answer directly to the people of the state he would be much more aggressive in enforcing Tennessee law with respect to illegal immigration.
“I am 100% opposed to ‘sanctuary cities.’ When politicians embrace lawlessness, they put our entire state at risk,” Williamson County businessman Bill Lee tells The Tennessee Star.
“It’s a reckless policy, I’m opposed to it, and, as governor, I would use every tool at my disposal to halt the adoption of these types of policies,” Lee adds.