Nashville Immigrants Cheer Executive Action, Legislators Prep Legal Action
TV networks opted not to air President Obama's speech, so immigrants gathered to watch the announcement together. Credit: David Wright Smith

Nashville Immigrants Cheer Executive Action, Legislators Prep Legal Action

TV networks opted not to air President Obama's speech, so immigrants gathered to watch the announcement together. Credit: David Wright Smith
TV networks opted not to air President Obama’s speech, so immigrants gathered to watch the announcement together. Credit: David Wright Smith

Some 200 immigrants gathered at the Global Mall in Antioch Thursday night to watch President Obama’s speech announcing deferred deportations for more immigrants who came to the US before they were 16.

Martha Lugo, who believes she would benefit from the policy change, said she will no longer have to live in fear that she could be torn away form her husband and daughters by being deported. Diana Montero said, however, there are still too many people who wouldn’t qualify and that she would continue the push to keep undocumented immigrants from being deported.

State Reaction

Two Tennessee legislators are asking that Governor Bill Haslam file suit against the Obama Administration because of his executive orders related to delaying deportations. Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) and Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mount Juliet) say they will file a resolution. They’re making a state’s rights argument, saying that giving millions of illegal immigrants “pseudo citizenship” would cost Tennessee “incalculable tax-payer dollars.”

Congressional Division

Tennessee’s congressional delegation is responding to President Obama’s immigration enforcement announcement – predictably – along party lines. Republican Senator Bob Corker is making an especially personal criticism of the administration.

“This president is not acting in strength. He’s acting in weakness,” Corker told Fox News. “Unless lightning strikes, it will be the worst presidency in modern history. It’s almost like a 13 year old would act, look at me, I’m important again.”

But Nashville Democrat Jim Cooper points out that Corker and Sen. Lamar Alexander both voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013. Congressman Cooper says that President Obama is only doing what he said he would do if the House didn’t act.

Blake Farmer

Blake Farmer is WPLN's assistant news director, but he wears many hats - reporter, editor and host. He covers the Tennessee state capitol while also keeping an eye on Fort Campbell and business trends, frequently contributing to national programs. Born in Tennessee and educated in Texas, Blake has called Nashville home for most of his life.
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