Gov. Haslam to allow sanctuary cities bill to become law without signature

Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam

A bill that seeks to prohibit sanctuary cities across Tennessee will become law without his Governor Bill Haslam's signature. The bill requires law enforcement to comply with federal immigration requests to detain immigrants who entered the country illegally.

The bill also bans local governments from adopting "sanctuary policies."

Haslam met with reporters Monday about his decision, including NewsChannel 5's Kyle Horan and WSMV's Edward Burch.  

On April 25 House Bill 2315 passed 64-to-23 in the House of Representatives. It’s companion bill in the Senate passed 27-to-5.

Tennessee does not currently have sanctuary cities.

Here’s what is in the bill:

  • The bill will prohibit state and local governmental entities and officials from adopting sanctuary policies.

  • State and local entities that adopt sanctuary city policies will be ineligible for economic and community development state funds until the policy is “repealed, rescinded, or otherwise no longer in effect.”

  • Bill mandate that law enforcement comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to detain immigrants who entered the country illegally.

What have local and state leaders have said about the measure?

At the May 15 meeting, Nashville’s city council approved a resolution that asks Gov. Haslam to veto the bill that would ban sanctuary cities in Tennessee.

The council voted 21-4 to approve the memorializing resolution, a type of resolution that requests action from a government body or official. The resolution was filed by at-large council member and mayoral candidate Erica Gilmore.

Gilmore called the state legislation “harmful,” adding that the bill would “tear apart families.” Nashville's police chief and school board members have also questioned the bill, she said.

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, a republican candidate for governor, launched a petition drive urging Haslam to sign the legislation. Black has introduced and supported legislation that defunds sanctuary cities.

Metro Schools Director Shawn Joseph called on Gov. Haslam to veto the bill, saying: “It is important to our students’ development and well-being that their parents support their academic pursuits and participate in their education … for a student to learn at his or her best, each child must feel safe.”

Leaders from 13 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, National Immigrant Justice Center and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, signed a joint letter asking Haslam to veto the bill.

According to The Tennessean’s Natalie Allison, Gov. Haslam said his office received more public requests to veto the bill than any other legislation this session:

Gov. Haslam had three options: sign, veto or allow the bill pass without his signature.

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Need something to do at home? Check out more these upcoming virtual concerts by Nashville artists. (Courtesy Jake Matthews/Visit Music City)
Catch a live concert, take a virtual walk through Cheekwood: Activities in the Greater Nashville area to stream at home this week, March 30-April 4

For residents in the Greater Nashville area looking for activities and things to do while practicing social distancing, here are a few ways to enjoy local entertainment with leaving the house.

On March 30, Metro Nashville opened two of three planned community assessment centers for COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 assessment centers open at Nissan Stadium, Meharry Medical College in Nashville

The third assessment center is scheduled to open on April 1.

coronavirus adobe stock photo
DATA: Case numbers, age groups and tests completed in Tennessee

Since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Williamson County on March 5, positive cases have continued to rise throughout Tennessee.

Gov. Bill Lee announced a safer-at-home order March 30. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Bill Lee issues statewide safer-at-home order for Tennesseans

The stay-at-home order is expected to last for at least 14 days.

Mayor John Cooper's 2020 State of Metro address is set for March 31. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)
How to watch Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s 2020 State of Metro address on March 31

There are several ways Nashville residents can stream the annual event.

Mayor John Cooper will no longer release his budget proposal for fiscal year 2020-21 on March 31, according to city officials. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)
Metro Nashville officials push back administration’s budget proposal amid coronavirus outbreak

Mayor John Cooper will no longer release his budget proposal for fiscal year 2020-21 on March 31, according to city officials.

Director of Schools Adrienne Battle will host a town hall meeting on March 30. (Courtesy Metro Nashville Public Schools)
Metro Nashville Public Schools to host virtual town hall March 30

The district will answer questions about what the extended school closure means for classes, grades, tests, high school graduation and more

Business closures in Tennessee have led to tens of thousands of jobs lost. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Unemployment in Tennessee up 1,300%; state working to partner unemployed workers with new jobs

State officials are working to help those recently unemployed due to coronavirus.

Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University will not hold graduation ceremonies in May. (Courtesy Belmont University)
3 universities in Southwest Nashville cancel, postpone graduation ceremonies

Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University will not hold graduation ceremonies in May.

Metro Nashville officials will host a live Q&A session on the fiscal year 2020-21 budget March 26. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)
Metro Nashville council members to host virtual community budget meeting March 26

Metro Nashville officials will host a live Q&A session on the fiscal year 2020-21 budget March 26.

Medical Supply Donation
Nashville-based nonprofit donates supplies to Middle Tennessee hospitals

Healing Hands International is helping local hospitals with medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owner Sarah Scarborough opened Firepot Tea Bar in 2018. (Courtesy Firepot Tea Bar)
Firepot Tea Bar offers options for tea lovers, even at home

The 12 South location may be closed for now, but you can still make a relaxing drink at home.

Back to top