State officials are challenging Metro Nashville Mayor David Briley’s sanctuary city policy, saying the decision could cause the city to lose a $300,000 federal grant to process ballistic evidence, NewsChannel 5 said.
Briley applied for the grant in July and signed a promise that Nashville did not have any policies related to how its employees may communicate with DHS or ICE, the station said.
But as The Tennessee Star reported on Sept. 3, Briley signed Executive Order 11 saying to the effect that the city will not assist the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. At a press conference, Briley took issue with HB 2315, a state law that prohibits state and local governmental entities and officials from adopting sanctuary city policies.
On a recent Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – host Leahy spoke with State Rep. Jay Reedy of Erin. Reedy, the sponsor of HB2315, spoke about the ramifications of Briley’s action. More information is available here.
Federal law prohibits state and local governments from interfering with communications with ICE on citizenship or immigration status.
Jennifer Brinkman, Director of the State of Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs sent Briley a letter Tuesday regarding the city’s application for the Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) grant for funding for the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).
The letter and grant documentation are available here.State letter to Briley
Brinkman told Briley that Metro must remain compliant with federal immigration laws to continue to receive the funding.
OCJP is concerned that Mayor Briley’s Executive Order 11 issued on September 3, 2019 may demonstrate an unwillingness to comply with the certifications above.
Brinkman wrote that Briley must resubmit documentation including a DHS and ICE questionnaire and “a letter of explanation from the Mayor’s Office clarifying how the policies and practices ordered by Executive Order 11 will not hinder its obligations” in complying with the newly executed forms.
October 1 is the deadline for Briley’s compliance.
Briley’s office told NewsChannel 5:
Project Safe Nashville, like Executive Order #11, was designed to improve public safety for all Nashvillians. The State Office of Criminal Justice Programs has asked the city to recertify certain parts of our grant application, and we will happily comply. Mayor Briley has asked the Department of Law to review the prior certifications to ensure compliance.
As Executive Order #11 does not violate any state or federal law, we are fully confident that the city will continue to receive grant funding in the future to support Project Safe Nashville.
Metro At-Large Council candidate Steve Glover filed a lawsuit Monday that questions the legality of Briley’s executive order, The Star reported.
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