A new review finds that few departments within Nashville government have written policies about how to answer requests from federal immigration authorities.
A task force created by Mayor John Cooper recommends Metro create standard rules — perhaps akin to a policy in Austin, Texas — and that departments begin sending his office routine updates about interactions with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Cooper’s Immigration Task Force — which included law enforcement leaders and immigrant advocates — had an admittedly narrow mission: Find out which departments ever hear from ICE agents, what they do in those moments and how they keep track of the interactions.
Most agencies, like the Nashville Public Library, Metro Water Services and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, report they’ve never been approached. (See all department responses to a task force survey.)
For the most part, it’s the local courts, police and jail that hear from ICE, and those groups have established practices. But they’re not consistent.
“Metro Government clearly has work to do in creating and implementing a uniform reporting and response policy around requests from federal immigration officials,” said Fabian Bedne, the mayor’s liaison on the task force.
The group also suggests that all agencies start sending monthly summaries of ICE interactions to the mayor’s office. But they note the mayor can’t compel some independent agencies to do so.
One of those, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, says compiling such a report would be “cumbersome and extremely time consuming.”