Tennessee law requiring local compliance with federal immigration laws takes effect

House Bill (HB) 2315, a bill involving sanctuary cities, went into effect in Tennessee. In May 2018, Gov. Bill Haslam (R) allowed the bill to become law without his signature.
 
HB 2315 requires local law enforcement to comply with detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under the law, localities that fail to comply could lose state funding, such as economic and community grants.
 
Sanctuary cities—cities that have enacted policies that limit local officials’ involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration law—are prohibited in Tennessee. In May, Haslam said he did not believe Tennessee had any sanctuary city-related issues and thought HB 2315 was “a solution looking for a problem.”
 
House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) said the law would “further allow our local, state, and federal officials to work together to keep our communities safe, building on the law we passed in 2009 to outlaw sanctuary city policies.”
 
Christian Patiño, director of operations for La Paz Chattanooga, said HB 2315 would distract law enforcement from carrying out their regular duties. “The priority for officers should be policing communities, and I think this can break the trust and relationships that people have with their police force.” La Paz Chattanooga described itself as providing an environment for “area Latinos to come together in order to build community, develop leaders, and be a positive contribution to the growth and development of the Chattanooga region.”



About the author

Sara Reynolds

Sara Reynolds is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at sara.reynolds@ballotpedia.org

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