Mayor wants lawmakers to shun harmful immigration policies

Monday, December 13, 2010 at 5:43pm

Mayor Karl Dean has a message for state lawmakers: Don’t do anything on immigration that could make Nashville look like an unfriendly place.

During a speech to the Rotary Club of Nashville on Monday, Dean highlighted Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, which he said has hurt tourism there. The law seeks to identify and deport illegal immigrants.

According to Dean, a new report suggests Arizona has already suffered more than $250 million in economic losses as a result of the new law, which he said is largely because of a boycott from the convention and tourism industry.

“I’m not here to tell state senators and representatives what to do,” Dean said. “But, I’m asking them, as mayor of Nashville, not to do anything that would put our city and our state at a competitive disadvantage.

“Being a diverse city — a city that is perceived as a friendly, welcoming place — is key to business recruitment,” Dean added. “Our hospitality industry and [the] success of our colleges and universities depend upon it. We need to be serious right now about jobs, prosperity and education. We can’t do that and tie our hands by creating a global reputation as an unwelcoming, unfriendly state.”

Dean, who said he believes Gov.-elect Bill Haslam has “great potential,” referenced the new $585 million Music City Center convention facility set to open south of Broadway in February 2013.

“This is not about politics,” he said. “It’s not about parties. It’s about what’s doing right and what’s in the best interest of our city’s economy.”

When asked after the speech if he is telling state lawmakers not to adopt a law similar to Arizona’s, Dean stopped short of saying that’s his intent.

“I’m just asking them that when they’re having these discussions — if they have these discussions — that they seek the opinion and bear in mind what needs to be done to protect the economy of specifically Nashville, Tenn., and I think also the rest of the state,” Dean responded.


34 Comments on this post:

By: courier37027 on 12/13/10 at 7:38

Apparently Arizona's immigration and deportation laws passed most Constitutional standards and a trial. So it appears Mayor Dean is encouraging lawlessness and thumbing his nose at the Constitution.

By: nashmusic2244 on 12/13/10 at 11:00

A friendly city must also adhere to the laws of the country for which it belongs. Condoning the illegal presence of these illegal aliens and masking the crime with an alleged economic shortfall is wrong for an elected official.

We cannot resort to turning a blind eye to lawlessness and illegal activity for the "wishful" innuendo that our economy will improve because of the illegals remaining present.

By: xhexx on 12/14/10 at 9:13

I'm surprised Dean hasn't come out and just declare Nashville as a sanctuary city.

All he gives a crap about now is his convention center. Never mind the laws of the land.

By: gdiafante on 12/14/10 at 9:19

The "law of the land' has been in place for one's bothered to enforce it. Suddenly this is an issue...and Dean's fault...laughable.

By: girliegirl on 12/14/10 at 9:26

@Gdiafante....Seems no one wants to enforce those laws anymore.

By: skeptic1 on 12/14/10 at 9:29

Isn't he quoting from that same study by an illegal immigrant advocacy group? Consider the source; that report is tainted with conflicts of interest. They say Arizona lost $250 million in tourism dollars, but they probably saved that much and more in other costs associated with providing medical care, education, and crime reduction to the thousands of illegal immigrants who have left Arizona because of the enforcement of the Arizona law. Arizona will recover from a temporary drop in tourism (probably more heavily impacted by the economy than the immigration law), but recovering from the drain on state dollars for medical, educational and law enforcement & correctional services is recurring year after year...decade upon decade is astronomical.

By: on 12/14/10 at 9:33

The laws about immigration are FEDERAL laws. There is no reason why LOCAL officials should dedicate their time and resources to enforcing the immigration laws. If the local officials have extra time and resources and have already done their jobs, then cut their budgets rather than selectively enforce federal laws. No comment on Arizona; their situation speaks for itself - and not in a good way.

By: skeptic1 on 12/14/10 at 9:37

The ones who don't want to enforce the law are the ones who benefit from illegal aliens. A large majority of citizens across the US support the law vehemently. Many politicians are finally taking note of that fact, but the mayor is not one of them.

By: concernedinnashville on 12/14/10 at 9:55

Ok, say they deport every illegal alien back to their country like they are trying to do in Arizona. Come on people, do you really think that crime is gonna go down all that much? I certainly don't. I understand laws are laws and they are made to be inforced. Seems to me like they have to blame it on someone. Crime is still gonna be in Nashville reguardless of who is here, bottom line! I can understand the concern for the economy though, but crime..NO!

By: Alphadog7 on 12/14/10 at 10:03

That's ridiculous. Nashville is and will be a VERY welcoming city. However, our country has paths to come here legally, and frankly, if people can't respect our laws, they probably shouldn't be welcomed. All others will always be welcome.

By: yogiman on 12/14/10 at 10:06

Mayor Dumb... excuse me, I meant Dean, to put money as the front runner for welcoming illegal aliens shows Nashville where you stand.

Anyone who supports illegal aliens in their city doesn't deserve to be in that official's office.

You certainly aren't in the office to represent the CITIZENS. It's more likely you wish to represent the Illegal aliens.

By: joe41 on 12/14/10 at 10:08

We do not need any more laws folks. Just don't hire the undocumented. They won't be here with no job. That's a fact!

By: TITAN1 on 12/14/10 at 10:15

When I am face to face with someone who is from Mexico or anywhere else for that matter, I see another human being. I don't wonder how they got here. I consider them a good person unless it is proven otherwise just as I do with anyone. I didn't post this to argue or even debate. It is just how I feel.

By: govskeptic on 12/14/10 at 11:02

Titan 1 and the Mayor are missing the issue completely. Of course,
most of care for the individuals being discussed here. We're also
concerned about the flood of people from many many nations that
are overwhelming our resources within this city and state and doing
so in spite of important existing laws to the contrary. While Mayor
Dean always takes the New York Bloombery view many locally do
not and cannot afford the cost of doing so.

By: FLeFew on 12/14/10 at 11:30

said joe41:

"We do not need any more laws folks. Just don't hire the undocumented. They won't be here with no job. That's a fact!"

You forget that the bleeding heart liberals would put them on unemployment and other welfare benefits.

By: wolfwalker on 12/14/10 at 12:01

Being a diverse city — a city that is perceived as a friendly, welcoming place — is key to business recruitment,” Dean added. “Our hospitality industry and [the] success of our colleges and universities depend upon it. We need to be serious right now about jobs, prosperity and education. We can’t do that and tie our hands by creating a global reputation as an unwelcoming, unfriendly state.” Karl Dean's words right!!!!!!!!!!!
If someone is here illegally and you, meaning anyone who aids or harbors them is also commenting a crime. As far as the schools, ecomony , jobs and healthcare systems, they are all going down hill on a sled and the speed is increasing with each passing day. We, citizens born here or the citizens we have that came here through the proper channels, are paying the cost for the ones who just walk across the borders and no one does anything to stop it. Our goverment needs an overhaul from the TOP down to the BOTTOM. If without the proper paperwork, all illeagals need to be sent back to their countries and let them clean up their house and not destroy ours.

By: on 12/14/10 at 1:00

Why don't the government from the federal level on down, just turn the whole damn country over to the street gangs, illegal immigrants, and the rest of the scum among us, and be done with it. Honest, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens are already scared out of their wits to go anywhere around town. Once the crime rate gets high enough, how friendly will the city seem to tourists to come here and spend their hard-earned money.

By: SargeE5 on 12/14/10 at 1:06

So, Arizona lost 25 million dollars. At least their Illegal immigrant population is going down. So is the states cost for entitlements to feed, clothe, house and incarcerate the Illegals. Tennessee needs to get tougher on Illegals, and that includes Nashville. I'd rather visit a city that doesn't have a bunch of drunk driving, unlicensed illegals cruising the city. With Illegals, come gangs, perhaps the Nashville Mayor has never hear of MS-13, perhaps the Mayor should do some homework. Maybe Nashville residents need to have a vote on being a Illegal Immigrant friendly city. I'm thinking nobody wants the Illegals here sucking off the system anymore than those in Arizona do.

By: SargeE5 on 12/14/10 at 1:08

Correction, 250 million dollars, not 25 million.

By: jsnap on 12/14/10 at 1:24

Mayor Dean surprised me on this one. I know he will say or do anything to protect his pet project but to ask our lawmakers not to do anything to enforce our laws, for the sake of money, is unreal. Perhaps he does want to make Nashville a sanctuary city.

By: iTiSi on 12/14/10 at 1:27

The Mayor conveniently failed to mention the fact that it was costing AZ $770Million
for the 475,000 illegal immigrants there. These figures were released by the AZ Republic prior to the laws being implemented. Now, Mr. Mayor, get your calculator out and compare $250M to $770M. Even a "pea brain" can see the difference. He is nothing more than a misguided Democrat (Progressive-brainless liberal) with convoluted thinking. Maybe his highly intelligent and rich wife could show him with a pencil and paper which one is larger!

By: cmmj19 on 12/14/10 at 1:40

Gosh- Major Dean- maybe we shouldn't make laws against rape , murder, theft- I mean really, how unfriendly to the people who want to steal, or kill or rape! IDIOT!

By: TITAN1 on 12/14/10 at 1:56

Sarge, I'm all for getting rid of drunk drivers, unlicensed drivers, and gangs no matter if they are legal or not. There is a lot of trashy people here of all race and nationality.

By: wasaw on 12/14/10 at 3:52

What Mayor Liberal is really saying is that he doesn't want anything to be done to run off potential new Dem voters anytime soon. He wants the state legislators to lie low so that his federal liberals legislators can ram the "DREAM" legislation down the average law-abiding citizens throats.

Mayor Liberal doesn't address the cost of school buildings, teachers, supplies, free medicine, and new WIC recipients, courtesy of the illegals. If his heart is so open to the poor and deprived, why is he so out to run off the legal Nashville homeless, who he has run over the entire time he's been in office.

Answer: they don't vote. Many of them are chemical dependent with no home address in which to satisfy voting requirements. Illegal Hispanics work, obtain housing, and will be easy picking for the Dems to get involved in the "class warfare" and convince them to "come on over on our side. We know better how to spend your money"

Bottom line: Mayor Liberal doesn't care one dime about the illegals. Why don't he lead a movement for Nashvillians to give to charities for the illegal's? Answer: Dems don't give away their money, they take yours. But hey, we are all giving our money to the illegals. We're paying for their ER visits, WIC, and housing. One more thing; when you get T-boned by the illegal, he/she will not have insurance. They got you again.

By: GUARDIAN on 12/14/10 at 5:19

GUARDIAN-Comrade Dean shut up or better yet move to Mexico.

By: budlight on 12/14/10 at 5:32

gdiafante on 12/14/10 at 8:19
The "law of the land' has been in place for one's bothered to enforce it. Suddenly this is an issue...and Dean's fault...laughable.

Dean is a staunch supporter of ILLEGAL immigration. He mentions Arizona's losses. He forgot to mention the losses of CA where illegals are sucking up all the tax dollars that they can get.

By: govskeptic on 12/15/10 at 6:47

The Mayor along with the "powerful" Nashville delegation headed
up by Rep. Mike Turner will force the legislature to do their will on
anything they propose! The dollar losses Ariz. is supposedly
losing on their law is as solid as the recent statement "that
unemployment checks creates jobs"! It's too easy hollering
"it's a federal issue", when the local taxpayers, homeowners,
and charities are carrying the very heavy cost load.

By: AmyLiorate on 12/15/10 at 9:38

Well lookee here -

gdiafante, girliegirl, yogiman, budlight, and I are all in agreement. Surely the temperature in Hell is dropping as I type!

1. The federal government should be doing it's job. If they were then the states wouldn't be having to waste time and money on this issue.

2. Karl Dean has passed the bar exam and worked as a high level professional attorney. He also has taken an oath to uphold the TN & US constitution. The AZ law mirrors federal law which has not been challenged. WHY is Dean supporting non-enforcement of valid law?

3. We don't just not enforce a law in order to keep making money.

4. For every dollar lost in AZ they gain back the same amount or more in savings.

5. The state legislature doesn't have to give a flip about what a lowly mayor says. Sure, here him out and then get on with passing a good law.

By: budlight on 12/15/10 at 10:15

AmyLiorate on 12/15/10 at 8:38
Well lookee here -

gdiafante, girliegirl, yogiman, budlight, and I are all in agreement. Surely the temperature in Hell is dropping as I type!

Amy, I just think pandering to "illegals" is morally wrong. It spits in the face of those legal immigrants who obeyed the rules as well as those of us born here who obey the rules.

Maybe Dean(ie) and his kind should migrate (illegally) to Mexico. Bet cha' they'd get a hero's welcome.

By: AmyLiorate on 12/15/10 at 10:17

News Flash:

I just read a headline than another one of our US Border Patrol agents has been killed.

Does everyone still want to act like the control of our border is only a trivial matter and all the people involved in getting illegals here would make nice neighbors?

By: budlight on 12/15/10 at 10:50


By: conservarage on 12/15/10 at 4:04

karl dean needs to shut his pie hole and go back to salivating over the convention center he got built.

By: Loretta Bridge on 12/15/10 at 4:31

Now that illegal immigrants are staying away from Arizona that state has probably
saved $250 million in supporting illegal immigrants on social service. How much does it cost to educate an illegal immigrant whose parents have brought them here illegally?
Will Dean's policy put more jobs in the community or just make Nolensville Road area
more congested?

By: kamaliman87 on 5/29/11 at 12:09

Dean wants that money from the federal government to keep rolling in for the illegals that get the food stamps and assistance to spend here in Nashville, we don't need their funds. We need our land and our jobs back, if they want to do those things legally, fine. I don't have a problem with people obtaining citizenship legally, but enough is enough, and these employers need to be put in check!