Nashville Mayor David Briley signs executive order calling to repeal sanctuary cities bill

The Metropolitan Courthouse is located at 1 Public Square, Nashville.

The Metropolitan Courthouse is located at 1 Public Square, Nashville.

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Mayor Briley at 2019 State of Metro - Courtesy Metro Nashville2
In an executive order issued Sept. 3, Mayor David Briley has called on state lawmakers to repeal House Bill 2315—more commonly known as the "sanctuary cities" bill—which went into effect earlier this year. The bill prohibits Tennessee cities from adopting sanctuary policies related to immigration.

"Today, many Nashvillians are afraid to leave their homes because they fear being arbitrarily separated from their families," Briley said in the order. "In fact, many of the systems that are in place to ensure our wellbeing and safety are crippled when all of us cannot participate freely in them."

Briley also announced Sept. 3 via Twitter that he has directed Metro Nashville's legal director to challenge HB 2315 in court, with the goal of having it declared unconstitutional. Should the bill be overturned, Briley has issued several directives that would prohibit Metro Nashville employees from assisting or cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agents.

Should the bill be overturned, Briley has issued the following directives to go into effect immediately:

  • Metro Nashville employees would not permit ICE or CBP agents to have access to any persons being detained by the city unless presented with a valid and properly issued warrant.

  • Metro Nashville employees would not transfer any person into ICE or CBP custody unless presented with a valid and properly issued warrant.

  • Metro Nashville employees would not allow ICE or CBP agents to access Metro Nashville facilities, information or equipment for immigration enforcement operations unless presented with a valid and properly issued warrant.

  • Metro Nashville employees, agents or agencies would not request information about a person's immigration or citizenship status unless required by an ordinance, court order, or state or federal law.

The order and its directives would not apply to independent agencies, such as Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metropolitan Hospital Authority; however, Briley has requested that some of those agencies consider adopting similar policies.

Additionally, Briley has called for revisions to the municipal citations process within the city. Metro Nashville Police Department officers have been directed to not inquire about a person's country of origin unless it is required for identification purposes. The city will also remove country of origin questions from municipal citations.

Metro Nashville agencies have been directed to issue instructions on implementing these changes within the next 30 days, according to the order.

Read the full executive order below:


By Wendy Sturges

A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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