MT. JULIET, Tennessee – On Monday officials in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee passed a resolution that states it is not a sanctuary city and denounces immigrants who are in the United States illegally.
“We encourage other cities to also go on the record saying they will not be a sanctuary city,” Mt. Juliet Vice-Mayor James Maness told NewsChannel 5.
The commissioners declared Mt. Juliet a “rule of law” city which means it will not stop actions to enforce federal immigration laws within the city.
“As a city, we are not going to interfere or stop federal efforts. Sometimes you just kind of scratch your head why somebody would work so hard to impede the efforts to enforce our laws and secure our borders,” Maness added.
Mt. Juliet appears to be the first city to announce such a resolution even though laws already exist that restrict cities in Tennessee from passing ordinances that would ignore federal immigration laws as do so-called sanctuary cities.
The Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition said the resolution was an embarrassment to the city.
“I can’t understand why any city would want to send a message that they should be fearful or unwelcomed,” Policy Manager Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus wondered. “It isn’t great for public safety and community trust and it doesn’t value the contributions that immigrants, regardless of their status, make to that community.”
According to TIRRC, there are 120,000 illegal immigrants in the state of Tennessee. There are more than 200 sanctuary cities and counties in the country who ignore federal immigration law. Some of the biggest are New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, and Miami.