Front page of East Ridge traffic court docket April 24, 2018. (Photo David Tulis)

Cities across Tennessee already are sanctuary cities, even though a bill to prevent sanctuary cities was approved in the general assembly.

A bill to prevent local governments from taking a position on immigration and the legal status newcomers to the country is on Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk, pushed strenuously by conservatives and Republicans.

By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio

The sum of state and federal laws and regulations upon Tennessee cities and residents is so great that if all of them were to be enforced, the economy would grind to an absolute fault. This assessment by Gary North, a free market analyst and historian and economist, points out that every city in the country already is a sanctuary city because enforcement in all cities of most rules is negligible or partial (“All cities are sanctuary cities,, Jan. 10, 2018).

“The reason why we have any liberty at all,” North says, “and the reason why we have money left over in local government budgets to build and repair roads, impose mosquito abatement programs, and operate public schools is because most of the laws that are on the books are enforced rarely, and when they are enforced, they are enforced sporadically. It is in the background noise of unenforced laws that we find our refuge from the state.”

Because we have a marketplace in Tennessee, because there are exchanges of value for value in goods and services produced, we have the circulation of money in the economy and people able to make either living or a profit.

Chattanooga is a sanctuary city already because many federal and state regulations, such as those pertaining to the environment, are quietly ignored and not enforced.

The goal of Christian rebuilding is to make every metropolis a sanctuary city, and not just in the context of federal immigration police work, and to do so self-consciously from a godly and biblical perspective.

Because the old Hebrew republic was an open borders confederation, so too should Chattanooga and the surrounding region be an open borders confederation of local governments and peoples of like mind and of like liberality — believers in local economy and free markets, if not in God himself.

Because the old Hebrew republic gave strenuous attention in God’s laws to justice for the alien, the poor, the widow, and the orphan, so too should Chattanooga and surrounding areas be a safe haven for this sort of care and adherence to the rule of law.

Aliens have sought shelter here

One area of reform that has come to our attention is the abusive enforcement of Tenn. Code Ann. Title 55 against people who are not involved in transportation. In simplest form, the transportation code applies to people in transportation. It does not apply to travelers, people who use the road for pleasure such as Najera Hernandez, Agustin Juarez, Edgar Alejandre, Hernandez Perez, all who fell into the hands of East Ridge officers Beadle, Burgess or Chambers in the April 24 traffic court docket.

The status quo of enforcement of the transportation and the white legal political establishment in Nashville holds these individuals, who travel freely apart from state commission, have committed crimes against the state.

The enforcement practice is ultra vires, outside the scope, beyond authority of the law itself, as Transportation Administrative Notice Tennessee has pointed out. It is replicated dutifully by East Ridge, Hamilton County, city of Chattanooga and other municipalities across the state without legal authority at the point of contact between the state and its agents and the citizenry. It’s illegal on the ground, but it’s “legal” in the chambers of the courts of appeal, if you will.

Our effort through transportation administrative notice is to separate local governments and local practice from the state, the hegemony of the progressive state paradigm, which assumes and pretends that all travel is transportation, that every user of the road is an operator and a driver, involving himself in the for-profit use of the roads in the extraordinary manner of commerce.

Our hope is that we can make Chattanooga and small municipalities around it, one by one, safe havens and sanctuary cities against the acts of malenforcement, the overbroad enforcement of this title, one that feeds the jail and creates extraordinary difficulty upon the poor people who most usually are caught up in the legal combine, as I have reported occurring in East Ridge traffic court.

I hope that in the next five years we will have courts and municipal government self-consciously agree with the law, and uphold the law, and not enforce the law beyond its actual scope (which is a violation of 49 U.S. Code, the federal transportation law). That is being done by every jurisdiction in Hamilton County today, including by Sheriff Jim Hammond, who is seeking re-election, and Mayor Andy Berke.

Indifferent, weak Christians

The lack of understanding of this issue and the lack of support for it comes from decades of teaching the Christian church that holds that the gospel has nothing to do with what we might call public policy and laws. This doctrine holds that Jesus Christ came to save individuals only, and not cities, not societies and not cultures.

Our effort to end the sweeping abuse of this statute upon the poor, the ignorant, the orphan, the widow, the alien, the minority, and others is a work of the Gospel, with a Christian impetus, and a Christian framework.

If we can free the oppressed, we should fight to do so. God cares about justice. More than anything in the gospel, we find his demands and requirement for justice. Insofar as the individual is concerned, our plea is for justice, not readily applied to us sinners, but applied to the merciful lamb, Jesus Christ, who saves us from our sins, by receiving for us the stroke of justice that we deserve. Justice controls the whole biblical narrative and is the basis of operation of God himself into the affairs of mankind, his nations, and his civilizations.

David Tulis weighs transportation statute, talks about Memphis secession and the problems of city court in East Ridge — all part of the same problem.

Transportation administrative notice Tennessee

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