Sheriff decides to no longer house ICE detainees

Today, Sheriff Hall announced that Nashville’s jail will no longer house ICE detainees. This is a welcome change. Thank you, Sheriff Hall.

Our goal is for every one of Nashville’s residents to have faith and trust in their ability to fully interact with city government, whether that’s through schools, the health department or the justice system. Sheriff Hall’s announcement moves our city closer to that goal.

I have been working with Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition toward the goal of no longer housing ICE detainees in Nashville’s jail for several years. In 2017, I and seven co-sponsors introduced BL2017-743, but that was deferred after first reading. After ICE’s well-publicized actions in Nashville this summer, I approached Sheriff Hall again about this. Under Tennessee law and the Metro Charter, the sheriff has the final say over who is housed in Nashville’s jail.

I along with fifteen co-sponsors were prepared to introduce legislation asking Metro to terminate the contract by which Metro gets paid to house ICE detainees. With Sheriff Hall’s announcement that the jail will no longer house ICE detainees, there is no need for the legislation.

While this important policy change won’t solve all of the immigration concerns in Nashville, today, we can celebrate our city’s commitment to focus first and foremost on the work of local government and making Nashville a safer place for all our neighbors.

Bob Mendes

Bob Mendes represents all of Nashville as a Council-At-Large member of Nashville’s Metro Council. He is Chair of the Council’s Charter Revision Committee, a member of the Metropolitan Audit Committee, and a member of the Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, Rules & Confirmations Committee, and Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee. Bob also practices business law at Waypoint Law PLLC. Bob’s complete bio is here. You can follow Bob @mendesbob.