Vocal House Democrats & Certain Republicans Voted to Stop Sanctuary Cities in 2009, But Now They Are For Them

State Rep Charles Sargent

Some of the most vocal House Democrats and Republicans trying to kill this session’s anti-sanctuary city bill sponsored by State Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin) had, in 2009, voted “yes” to pass a bill that prohibited establishing sanctuary cities in Tennessee. The 2009 bill passed the House with a 80 yes votes.

Among the most aggressive efforts to sideline Reedy’s bill this year that closes a loophole in the 2009 law, has come from State Rep. Charles Sargent (R-Franklin) who voted yes on the 2009 bill. Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) appointed Sargent to serve as chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee, a position he has held throughout Harwell’s tenure as Speaker.

Even though Sargent added his name as a co-sponsor on Reedy’s bill, he used his position as chairman to try and kill Reedy’s bill in the House Finance Committee. Sargent voted yes on a motion to send the bill to a study by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) which he then gaveled through on a voice vote despite loud and overwhelming opposition from the no votes.

Sargent again voted against a motion to reconsider the bill which passed the committee followed by a majority vote to move the bill toward a vote by the full House.

It should be noted that Reedy’s bill had no fiscal note and no explanation has been forthcoming as to why the bill was sent to the Finance Committee in the first place after being passed out of the House State Government Committee.

State Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parker Crossroads), another Finance Committee member siding with Sargent and the Democrats on all votes to sideline the bill, also voted yes on the 2009 bill.

Not to be outdone by Republicans Sargent and McDaniel who now favor shielding criminal aliens who have committed crimes under Tennessee law in addition to violating federal immigration laws, are Democrats who also voted in favor of the 2009 bill but now oppose Reedy’s bill.

Democrat gubernatorial candidate and Finance Committee member State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) voted yes in 2009, but argued against Reedy’s bill and moved to have it sent to a summer study even after the motion to send it to a TACIR study failed.

Also voting in line with Fitzhugh were Finance Committee Democrats State Reps. John DeBerry and Larry Miller who both voted yes in 2009 to prohibit sanctuary cities but have now flipped to support protecting criminal aliens.

Finance Committee member State Rep. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville) voted against Reedy’s bill despite voting yes in 2009. Prior to being elected as a Democrat to represent Davidson County’s 54th district in the Tennessee General Assembly, Gilmore served on the Metro Council of Nashville and Davidson County from 1999-2007.

During her last year serving on the Metro Council, Gilmore sponsored Resolution No.RS2007-1753, opposing illegal immigration. Her resolution noted specifically the “increasing number” of criminal aliens in her county:

“WHEREAS, due to its abundance of construction-related jobs, the Nashville area has become a magnet for illegal immigrants in recent years; and

WHEREAS, the rising cost of providing government services to illegal immigrants is having a tremendous negative impact on our state and local government; and

WHEREAS, as a result of the increasing number of criminal offenders arrested in Nashville that are undocumented aliens, Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall recently gained approval from the federal government for Nashville’s participation in the 287(g) program, which will provide enhanced communication and cooperation between federal immigration authorities and local law enforcement to help identify and initiate deportation proceedings on criminal illegal immigrants; and

WHEREAS, recent polls have documented the public’s frustration with the federal government’s lack of enforcement of immigration laws and the public’s desire for serious immigration reform; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the United States Congress and the Tennessee General Assembly take whatever action is necessary to control the problem of illegal immigration.”

The Resolution was adopted by all Metro Council members present without any no votes being recorded.

Gilmore’s daughter, Metro Council member-at-large Erica Gilmore and candidate for Nashville mayor, voted last year to support a proposed ordinance that if passed, would have made Nashville the most liberal sanctuary city in the U.S.











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5 Thoughts to “Vocal House Democrats & Certain Republicans Voted to Stop Sanctuary Cities in 2009, But Now They Are For Them”

  1. Chuck

    It’s all about money, marbles & chalk.

    Principles? What are they?

  2. Stuart I. Anderson

    Charles Sargent is retiring after this session of the General Assembly so now is the time for conservatives of the 61st District to CAREFULLY choose his replacement now, to avoid screaming tomorrow. There are six candidates running in the Republican primary to succeed Charles and this is what I know and/or believe.

    There are two candidates who have public histories of having conservative convictions, Rebecca Ann Burke and Jeff Ford. Rebecca is well known in Williamson County conservative circles for her work on many campaigns and causes, most recently as an outspoken advocate of closed primaries on the State Executive Committee and Jeff Ford is well regarded by conservatives for his many years of service on the County Commission.

    As for the rest, Gino Bulso apparently has lots of money for TV adds where he has taken courageous stands against traffic and for infrastructure but apparently neither he nor anyone else can point to any history of his financial or other support for conservative causes or candidates. Robert Hullett is best known for his towering opposition, often rather nasty opposition, to conservative members of the county school board. Brandon Ogles introduced himself as a candidate by promising to “. . .unite, not divide. People must come together. . .doing what’s best. . .for [Tennessee]” which doesn’t sound like the voice of a strong conservative advocate to me.

    That’s what I know and/or believe, how about you?

  3. Sim

    I’m not a law expert, but I think Counties and Cities are responsible for managing their own taxes and budgets without authority to dip into state funds for some “Pet Project” exclusive to that particular County or City.

    If the State doesn’t “Budget” funds for a project, Government isn’t free to allocate funds for that project.

    If citizens all across the State can be forced to finance the pet project of one county, then all counties can force the financing of all their “Pet Projects”.

    I’m reasonable sure that’s the way our State/local Government works.

    That being the case, the best defense against sanctuary zones is to inform the citizens of those zone that they, and they along by local taxes, will be financing all expenses of the sanctuary zone.

  4. Charles Sargent is nothing more than a tool for the Haslam administration – always has been. Like Lamar Alexander, he throws the word, “conservative” around like it’s meaningless, which to him, it is. The best thing to happen to this district is his stepping down.

    If you pay attention, many (if not a majority) of those branded with an “R” after their names are only democrat lites. in fact, I find the republican “party” down here anything but truly conservative. That is reflected around much of the country, as well. It’s not an error that most of the Rs in congress are not conservative. It’s called blind trust of the voters. Everyone is too busy to actually do their own research into candidates. If they say they are conservative, then they must be! No, not really. Sargent is only the tip of the iceberg. Better to be independent at this point, or you’re only going to be disappointed every time.

    Every time I see the Beth Harwell ad on TV, I want to throw the TV out the window. She’s not alone – they are all around you. Buck up and start paying attention so we can get rid of the Charles Sargents of the world.

  5. Kevin

    The coming primary elections in August and the general elections in November for State House seats will be defining moments for Tennessee. 20+ seats will change hands, including many of the existing Leadership. Many of the “old guard” incumbents, who gave us the gas tax, tried to give in-state tuition to illegals, and have challengers. Doss, Lynn, Wirgau and a bunch of others, need to go! Citizens are tired of having Republicans say one thing yet do the opposite! They see through the procedural smoke screens layed down by the RINO leadership. All it will take for Democrats to inch back into control, are some fresh new faces with some “reasonable” sounding approaches.