Nashville Mayor John Cooper rescinds executive order relating to sanctuary cities

Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced Oct. 14 he has rescinded Executive Order 11, which was issued by his predecessor, former Mayor David Briley, earlier this year.

Briley issued the executive order Sept. 3, calling 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.

The order mandated that should the bill be overturned, Metro Nashville employees would have been prohibited from assisting or cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agents.

In his announcement, Cooper called the order "flawed" and said it put the city at risk for losing more than $1 million in state grants and that the order did not provide sufficient guidance for Metro Nashville employees on how to respond to requests from ICE and other federal agencies.

“I have said frequently that I want Nashville to be a city for everyone, and that certainly includes immigrants," Cooper said in a statement. "Our city benefits greatly from the many contributions of our immigrant neighbors. I am deeply aware that our success as a city depends on everyone both feeling safe to participate and having access to opportunities. To get there, we need to make sure that all Nashvillians feel safe when interacting with our city agencies. It is up to the federal government to both make and enforce our immigration laws. It is my job to make sure that our city runs well. Our city agencies have limited resources and cannot be expected to do the work of the federal government."

Cooper also announced he is setting up a task force to make recommendations on how Metro Nashville employees should interact with ICE agents that "respects the very separate roles of federal, state, and local governments; complies with state and federal law; and protects the safety and well-being of everyone in our immigrant communities."

"Recent activities by ICE in our city—including at a Metro school—demonstrate that neither city agencies nor residents have received sufficient guidance on how to report or respond to requests for assistance from federal agencies like ICE," Cooper said in a statement. "This task force is intended to address that issue from the ground up, with guidance crafted by this diverse group of Nashville’s leading voices on immigration and local law enforcement policy."

Members of the task force include Shanna Hughey, founder and president of ThinkTN; Conexion Americas Executive Director Juliana Ospina Cano; Hank Clay, chief of staff for Metro Nashville Public Schools; General Sessions Judge Ana Escobar; Mike Hagar, deputy chief of the Metro Nashville Police Department; Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall; Mary Kathryn Harcombe, legal director for the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition; Victor S. Johnson III, former district attorney general of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County; District 30 Council Member Sandra Sepulveda; and at-large Council Member Zulfat Suara.

The task force is expected to make recommendations within the next 60 days, according to the announcement.
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.


Mayor John Cooper speaks at his inauguration event Sept. 28 at Stratford STEM Magnet High School. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mayor John Cooper announces $154M in capital project recommendations

Cooper is recommending $72 million in public school improvements in the next fiscal year.

The next MNPS superintendent is expected to be announced by the end of March. (Courtesy Metro Nashville Public Schools)
Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent search draws 19 candidates

The next superintendent is expected to be announced by the end of March.

City of Belle Meade continues sewer modeling, working to identify improvement projects

The city has identified water pressure issues on the north side of Belle Meade.

Metro Nashville Council approves new zoning district, seeks to ease community concerns related to short-term rentals

Metro Nashville Council approved an ordinance during its Feb. 18 meeting to create a new type of zoning option that prohibits short-term rental properties from new developments.

Rukus Cycling Studios now open in The Gulch in Nashville

The indoor cycling studio offers high-intensity rides in 30-60-minute sessions.

Apple & Oak
Apple and Oak now closed in Hillsboro Village

Customers can still visit Apple & Oak's East Nashville location at 717 Porter Road, Nashville.

Molly Green
Clothing retailer Molly Green relocates inside The Mall at Green Hills in Nashville

Molly Green has three other locations in the Nashville area.

Louie's Wine Dive
Louie’s Wine Dive closes Midtown location in Nashville

The bar and restaurant opened in June 2018.

Jessie James Decker's Kittenish in The Gulch to celebrate first anniversary with meet-and-greet

The shop is celebrating its first anniversary with events throughout the weekend.

Nashville SC
Mayor John Cooper, Nashville SC reach agreement on MLS soccer stadium in Nashville

The revised deal follows several months of negotiations between Mayor John Cooper and Nashville Soccer Club.

Dunkin’ opens ninth location in Nashville in Midtown

The new location features the company's "next generation" concept.

Vote here
Early voting for March primary election begins Feb. 12 in Davidson County

All early voting locations will open Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Back to top