One of the sponsors of Tennessee’s so-called “sanctuary cities” bill thinks it will withstand a likely legal challenge.
“If I thought there was any chance of overturning, I would not have pushed the bill through,” Senator Mark Green told News 2 two days after Governor Bill Haslam let the measure become law without his signature. “I would have loved for Governor Haslam to have signed the bill but allowing it to become law is really what was most important to us.”
Green likes to call the measure the “anti-sanctuary cities” bill, but he knows the measure was carefully amended to withstand potential legal action from immigrant rights groups.
“This insistence by some of the organizations out there that want sanctuary cities in Tennessee that this is somehow violating someone’s constitutional rights is absurd,” he added. “It’s been proven by a circuit court it’s not true.”
The bill drew numerous protests and calls for Haslam to veto the measure.
The Governor Monday argued that the measure is “not a mass deportation bill,” but does allow local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials if they choose while not requiring it.
Senator Green thinks the bill has much needed teeth in it to penalize local governments with loss of state economic funds if they adopt so-called sanctuary city policies.