Mt. Juliet leaders declared “no consent” to refugee resettlement in the city and also reinforced Mt. Juliet as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary City” at their Feb. 10 meeting.
City commissioners unanimously approved two non-binding resolutions without discussion.
“The resolution related to the refugee resettlement was prompted by President Trump, who requested local governments should consent to resettlements,” Mayor Ed Hagerty said after the meeting.
According to the resolution, U.S. State Department reports show that refugees have been resettled in at least 10 cities in the Nashville area, including Mt. Juliet.
On Dec. 18, 2019, Gov. Bill Lee defined his consent as “valid initially for one year,” according to the resolution.
The resolution says that Mt. Juliet does not want to be forced into participating in the federal refugee resettlement program due to either Lee’s consent and/or being within the placement radius of a resettlement agency office.
“Some have said this is in some way discriminatory; however, that is not true,” Hagerty said. “The City of Mt. Juliet does not have the road network nor other infrastructure to accommodate resettlement at this time.”
District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice said the resolution is simply “a statement of the will of the body.”
“Nothing in any resolution is binding, but it is strong protest to the program,” Justice said. “Basically, it’s about logistics. We have enough problems maintaining infrastructure and to invite people here to add to that is outside the process here. We know Mt. Juliet could be picked and we want to say we are against it.”
The second resolution sponsored by all five city commissioners designated Mt. Juliet a Second Amendment sanctuary city.
“Regarding the Second Amendment, it’s self-explanatory,” Hagerty said. “The five elected officials hold our Constitution as sacred including the Bill of Rights.”
The resolution says “The City of Mt. Juliet, TN government will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of an element of such acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules or regulation that infringe on the right by the people to keep and bear arms …”