On TN immigration politics and AG Herbert Slatery

The New Yorker has an interesting article on immigration politics in Tennessee, focusing on Attorney General Herbert Slatery’s decision to back out of a threatened lawsuit to force termination of the DACA program that blocks deportation of those brought into the United States illegally as children.

Seems Slatery met for an hour with Stephanie Teatro and one of her colleagues from the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition before making his decision. An excerpt:

“He did everything we hoped for, and at such a strategic moment,” Teatro told me. “There’s probably a temptation to write off the states involved in the campaign against DACA. But we didn’t think the campaign reflected the values of Tennessee, and we didn’t think this level of attack should be normalized in our state. People support daca recipients here.”

Teatro believes that Slatery’s letter also gives cover to Tennessee’s senators. “We didn’t want our senators to feel uncomfortable challenging the Attorney General,” she said. “If the state’s official position is against these kids, it will it make it harder for Senator Corker to support the dream Act. He’s up for election next year.”

Immigration politics in Tennessee are complicated—and changing. The state has one of the most conservative legislatures in the country and a small—though rapidly growing—immigrant population. Some of the harshest recent anti-immigrant legislation in the country has emerged in Tennessee, from bills punishing the undocumented to measures aimed at curtailing the resettlement of refugees.

Yet two-thirds of Tennesseans now support a bill that would allow undocumented students who grew up in the state to qualify for in-state tuition at public universities. And the measure recently came within a single vote of passing the state assembly, where it was sponsored by a Republican named Mark White (state representative from Memphis). “Some issues are not about politics,” White told me. “This is not an immigration issue; it’s an education issue. You have these wonderful individuals graduating from Tennessee high schools.” Slatery, along with the governor, had supported the in-state tuition bill; in White’s view, Slatery’s original decision to join the anti-daca effort had been more surprising than his eleventh-hour defection.

Note: Previous post HERE.

UPDATE Note: The right-wing Tennessee Star notes the New Yorker article in a Tuesday post bearing the headline, “Tennessee Attorney General Slatery Pushes Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants On Advice From Soros Funded Organization”

5 Responses to On TN immigration politics and AG Herbert Slatery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Posts and Opinions about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.