TIRRC Votes 2019 Mayoral Candidates Survey
Please fill out this questionnaire to help TIRRC Votes and voters understand your position on key immigration issues. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like additional information, please contact Judith Clerjeune, Policy Officer at TIRRC Votes, Judith@tirrcvotes.org, or 615.612.9615.
Please respond by Wednesday, June 5
Cutting the Contract between ICE and the Davidson County Jail
Through a contract, approved by Metro Council in 1996, our local jail serves as an immigration detention facility where ICE holds immigrants for civil immigration charges from inside and outside Davidson County. For more information on Intergovernmental Services Agreements and immigration, please consult resources from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
Would you support and co-sponsor an ordinance to terminate the 1996 Intergovernmental Services Agreement (IGSA), which applies to housing all federal inmates not just those detained by ICE, and renegotiate a contract that excludes contracts with ICE and prohibits the jail from serving as an immigrant detention facility? *
Your Answer: In Nashville, jails are big business! We have civic core values, then we have CoreCivic values, and I believe there is a Music City cognitive dissonance between the two. We can better the public good, by completely disentangling local municipal government facilities from federal involvement.
Disentangling local government agencies from federal immigration enforcement
The federal government is increasingly relying on local government agencies, especially local law enforcement and the criminal justice system, to carry out its campaign of mass deportation. Cities across the United States are enacting policies that draw a bright line between the work of local government and federal immigration enforcement. For more information on local options for protecting communities from deportation, please consult resources from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
In partnership with community-based organizations, would you create a task force of representatives from across metro agencies that will develop a plan to monitor and assess requests from ICE across metro agencies and publish its findings on a publicly accessible website on a quarterly basis? *
Your Answer: Other:This may be a packed question, so my goal is to thaw the convo with ICE by definitely requiring more transparency. There is a known effect whereby boiling water freezes faster, so I believe we can approach the methods coolly and simmer the open-flame. In doing so, we should most certainly invest in a more representative democratic process whereby decision-making is more inclusive. We can also do so by not demonizing an entire group: sure there are some cold a-holes in ICE but I believe we can engage them without bringing the boiling point to a freeze where we spend resources fighting each other, when there may be a way to divert locally designated federal dollars better and warm up hearts and minds through open dialog, that is definitely publicly accessible.
Would you partner with the heads of metro agencies to develop and implement “Safe Spaces” policies across metro government that 1) strengthen privacy protections, 2) clarify processes if immigration agencies request information, access, or partnerships, and 3) communicate these protections to immigrant residents? *
Your Answer: Yes, we should each of us be empowered to speak up for our fellow humans and their rights. We can extend that from the personal to the professional and make it SOPs across metro agencies. If outside agencies wanna be SOBs we can enshrine those rights further thru ordinance and/or executive action.
Would you support council ordinances and/or enact policies through executive action that, to the extent permitted by state and federal law, disentangle immigration enforcement from the work of local government and ensure our local resources are not being used to help deport our neighbors? *
Your Answer: Yes, resources are finite and without delving into scarcity politics, we have enough on our plate locally trying to look out for each other without further complicating the mission of local schools to provide safe places to learn and providing public health programs without adding consistent trauma-inducing actions that serve to exacerbate local issues.
Would you support efforts to challenge or repeal state laws that prohibit local governments from disentangling their local agencies and resources from federal immigration enforcement? *
Your Answer: Yes: Think Globally, Act Locally. Democracy happens at the local level at that sanctity should be inviolate.
Protecting residents from deportation
Unlike criminal court, immigrants are not guaranteed a lawyer in deportation proceedings. When an immigrant does have representation, they are up to ten times as likely to be able to remain in the United States. Cities across the United States are creating Legal Defense Funds to help provide legal counsel to local residents who are placed in deportation proceedings. For more information, please consult resources on universal representation from the Vera Institute.
Would you support the creation of and funding for a Legal Defense Fund? *
Your Answer: Yes: it is the social contract that government should treat everyone fairly and equally. As such, we should ensure honest and open debate that is not tipping the scales of the legal system thru misrepresentation or lack of representation.
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