NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Metro Nashville Council At-Large candidate Gicola Lane told a crowd of more than 1,000 people Monday she wants city officials to stop working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Members of the crowd gave thunderous applause.
Later in the evening, Nashville mayoral candidate Julia Clark-Johnson said she wants to turn Nashville into a sanctuary city.
“The state of California has been successful into changing a lot of their cities into sanctuary cities,” Clark-Johnson said, suggesting Nashville follow that state’s example.
Gicola and Clark-Johnson made these comments at Nashville’s Plaza Mariachi along Nolensville Pike this week for a forum devoted to immigrant rights
Several other At-Large and mayoral candidates joined them on stage.
The Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition sponsored the event, as did the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the American Muslim Advisory Council, and Conexion Americas.
The forum was in question-and-answer format, with members of those groups asking, among other things, what the Metro Nashville government can do to disentangle itself from ICE and stop future deportations.
At-Large candidate Bob Mendes, already on the Metro Council, said he will continue to do his part, especially with U.S. Republican President Donald Trump in office.
“After the presidential election, I helped write the legislation that would have kept the city from spending money on federal immigration enforcement,” Mendes said.
“We didn’t quite get to the finish line on that and, in fact, the state pre-empted us, but those are the issues we want to keep going with.”
Other At-Large candidates present included Fabian Berne, Gary Moore, Zulfat Suara, and current Metro Council member Burkley Allen.
Mayoral candidates on stage also included current At-Large Council member John Cooper, current Mayor David Briley, and State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville.
Clemmons said he thinks it’s a shame immigrant children in Nashville are too afraid to fill out forms at their schools to apply for and receive free and reduced lunches.
According to a brochure, TIRRC members use community organizing techniques to dismantle what they call “harsh immigration enforcement systems.”
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