NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — State officials are calling into question Nashville Mayor Briley's recent executive order on immigration and the move could pose a risk to funding.
In a letter from the State Department of Finance/Office of Criminal Justice Programs, authorities are concerned over Briley's recent order, stating what Metro agencies will and own't do when requested by ICE.
As part of Metro's 'Project Safe Neighborhood,' in order for the city to keep funding from the state it must remain compliant with the DHS and ICE Questionnaire. Now, Metro officials are required to re-execute the questionaire, compliance check, certification and provide a letter clarifying how Briley's executive order "will not hinder its obligations in complying" with DHS and ICE. This must be completed by Sept. 30.
Read the letter below or click here to view on mobile:
Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron tells FOX 17 News this grant money is crucial in paying police officers overtime money needed for the Project Safe Neighborhoods task force. Aaron said the money also helps give them access to a data base that would allow them to trace and track ballistics from stolen guns which would help solve violent crimes.
During a news conference last week, Briley signed Executive Order 11 outlining what Metro departments will and won’t do when requested by ICE.
Briley said all ICE requests must go through department heads, who must release reports to the Mayor’s office detailing the request.
Briley said Metro Police officers won’t be inquiring about a person’s “country or origin,” in an effort to minimize fear and increase trust in the community, unless necessary for identification purposes. Country of origins will also be removed from municipal citations.
Metro employees won’t be disciplined for failure to comply with an ICE request, Briley said, unless it’s warranted by state or federal law.
Briley will also be establishing a new working group to track new developments in immigration policy and enforcement, which will be collecting data specific to Nashville.
Briley also called for a repeal or challenge of Tennessee's 'anti-Sanctuary city' law.
Here's a full statement from Mayor Briley's office:
Project Safe Nashville, like Executive Order #11, was designed to improve public safety for all Nashvillians. The State Office of Criminal Justice Programs has asked the city to recertify certain parts of our grant application, and we will happily comply. Mayor Briley has asked the Department of Law to review the prior certifications to ensure compliance.
As Executive Order #11 does not violate any state or federal law, we are fully confident that the city will continue to receive grant funding in the future to support Project Safe Nashville.