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Resolution RS2019-86

A resolution requesting that the President of the United States and Congress of the United States enact comprehensive immigration reform and give Nashville’s qualified undocumented neighbors a path to citizenship and an opportunity to fully participate in the life of our community without fear.

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council recognizes that an estimated 31,000 undocumented immigrants live and work in Davidson County, of which 5,000 have been in the United States from five to twenty plus years; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council further recognizes that the overwhelming majority of these immigrants are hard-working, family-oriented people who contribute to the fabric of our community. Given the opportunity to become documented, these neighbors would no longer have to fear such actions as family separation and could contribute even more to our city’s culture and future; and

WHEREAS, our undocumented neighbors contribute to Nashville’s tax revenues through sales taxes and property taxes by virtue of rent payments and direct home ownership (approximately thirty percent of undocumented immigrants own a home); and

WHEREAS, 7,000 of our undocumented neighbors are under the age of twenty-five. Many of these young people attend Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Due to lack of documentation, their parents often fear attending school events and providing the parental support that is so important in a student’s success; and

WHEREAS, many undocumented children were brought to the United States by their parents before they were of any age to make such a decision on their own. They have been raised here and know no other home; and

WHEREAS, 151,743 people in Tennessee, including 63,621 born in the United States, lived with at least one (1) undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014; and

WHEREAS, during that same period, one in 25 children in the state was a U.S. citizen child living with a least one undocumented family member (70,982 children in total); and

WHEREAS, our undocumented neighbors are often afraid to call the police to report crimes and are therefore at greater risk of being victims of crime. Our whole community is made less safe for our inability to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice; and

WHEREAS, Nashville’s undocumented workers are afraid to come forward and report violations of labor laws and are often the victims of crimes such as wage theft; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Government’s failure to provide a path to citizenship for our undocumented neighbors has caused conflicts of interest and strained relations between federal and local law enforcement agencies; and

WHEREAS, our Federal Government’s failure to address this issue has resulted in our nation’s immigration enforcement officers diverting resources that could be better used securing our borders and apprehending those undocumented persons who truly pose a danger to our community.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council requests that the President and Congress of the United States enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation that would:

1. Establish just and reasonable eligibility requirements that would enable those undocumented immigrants who meet said requirements, to apply for citizenship; and

2. Establish a just and fair path to citizenship for those undocumented immigrants who have qualified to apply.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Clerk’s Office is directed to send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Tennessee delegation to the United States Congress, and the Tennessee General Assembly.

Section 3. This resolution shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Bob Nash, Jeff Syracuse, Sharon Hurt, Nancy VanReece, John Rutherford, Tonya Hancock, Zulfat Suara, Burkley Allen, Delishia Porterfield

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedNovember 5, 2019

AdoptedNovember 5, 2019

ApprovedNovember 6, 2019

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 11/13/2019 8:28 AM