Tennessee’s top political leaders are reportedly rebuking Memphis for not going along with a new law to detain illegal immigrants for federal officials.
As The Tennessee Star reported, Shelby County officials say they won’t cooperate with a new Tennessee law that helps federal officials detain and deport illegal aliens.
The state law took effect Jan. 1.
Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Glen Casada are unhappy, according to The Associated Press.
“Shelby County needs to reevaluate their position,” McNally said in a statement.
“As outlined in the law, continued refusal will result in the forfeit of state economic and community development grants which would negatively affect the local economy in Shelby County.”
The law threatens local governments with the loss of future state economic and community development money if they have sanctuary policies.
Federal immigration officials have the power to deport illegal aliens arrested on other charges. But some local laws have kept those local law enforcement officers from cooperating with the feds. The new law bans those local policies.
That includes barring local policies that require federal officials to obtain a warrant or show probable cause beforehand.
As The Tennessee Star reported last fall, county officials, specifically the folks at the county attorney’s office, tell their law enforcement officers to ignore the feds, especially Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Shelby County Sheriff’s spokesman Anthony Buckner said this month that the new law does not apply to Shelby County or the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office — per an edict from the county attorney.
As reported, members of the Shelby County Attorney’s Office said federal official’s requests that the county detain suspected illegals for up to 48 hours after their scheduled release violate the U.S. Constitution.
They said such requests likely violate the 10th Amendment ban against commandeering of local governments by the feds. Members of the county attorney’s office also say the requests likely violate the Fourth Amendment protection against arrests without probable cause.
Despite this, members of the sheriff’s office have found a loophole. Sheriff’s deputies will release suspected illegal immigrants, but they will notify ICE agents about when, precisely, they’ll release those people.
The AP, meanwhile, quoted Casada as saying “serious discussion” needs to happen.
“The sheriff would be working directly against the will of Shelby Countians and the legislature if he decided to disobey state law in this way,” Casada said in a statement.
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