April 8, 2008
Johnson bill would deter “sanctuary cities” for illegal
aliens in Tennessee
(NASHVILLE, TN), April 8, 2008 — The Senate State and Local Government Committee has approved legislation, sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), to cut off economic and community grant money to any Tennessee city that might declare itself a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens. Johnson said the bill aims to deter the creation of any local zones where aliens could live illegally in the state.
Sanctuary communities are a danger to the public because illegal immigrants who commit crimes are able to repeat their offenses instead of being dealt with by immigration officials,” Johnson said. “During a time when our borders are being used as gateways for terrorists and other illegal activities, there is no reason for knowingly providing illegal aliens with sanctuary from prosecution.”
A sanctuary city is a term given to a city in the United States that follows certain practices that protect illegal aliens. The term generally applies to cities that do not allow municipal funds or resources to be used to cooperate with federal immigration laws, usually by not allowing police or municipal employees to inquire about ones immigration status.
Thirty-eight cities in the U.S. have been recognized as sanctuary cities. However, many sources have identified over 200 city or county governments nationwide as having practiced such policies. Johnson said that so far, no Tennessee city has been identified in this group.
“This is strictly a preemptive strike to guard against adoption of any policy by cities in the state to provide a sanctuary for illegal aliens in Tennessee,” added Johnson. “Police in Tennessee should be allowed to do their job and see that criminal aliens are not allowed to live invisibly among our communities. We must protect the right of our law enforcement to use the tools they need to keep our families safe.”