MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on the battle brewing in TN over sanctuary cities.
With early voting set to begin Friday, Memphians are starting to focus on the city mayor’s race. But some 200 miles up Interstate 40, the mayoral contest in Nashville is about to come to a head. Voters in the capital city will go to polls Thursday in a runoff election that pits incumbent David Briley against metro council member John Cooper.
But all of a sudden, a statewide debate over immigration has developed as a key issue in the Nashville race. That’s because Briley last week signed an executive order officially opposing a new state law banning sanctuary cities. The mayor’s order also calls on the legislature to repeal the law. Fat chance of that.
In fact, new House speaker Cameron Sexton wasted no time in blasting Mayor Briley for what the speaker believes is a political ploy to win liberal votes in Thursday’s runoff. The state law prohibits local governments from receiving state economic development funds if they refuse to comply with a ban on sanctuary cities. What that means is local governments have to comply with all federal requests to hold immigrants in custody for possible deportation and even assist with roundups of undocumented immigrants.
Elected officials in Nashville as well as Memphis, are vehemently opposed to the sanctuary city ban. But so far, it has not emerged as a major issue in the Memphis mayor’s race. We’ll see if that changes. And that’s my point of view.