Metro City Council in Nashville voted Tuesday night to prevent License Plate Reader data from being used to enforce immigration laws. The measure passed in a vote of 32-1 with only council member Robert Swope opposing.
Automatic License Plate Readers (LPR) can be used to find those who are driving recklessly, those wanted by police and people involved in AMBER and SILVER alerts. The cities of Mount Juliet and Belle Meade currently operate LPR successfully.
Metro has committed to a six-month LPR pilot program after debating the proposal for more than a year, but there is no announced timeline as to when the system will be up and running. When it is operational, local law enforcement will not be allowed to share data from the cameras with federal authorities in order to identify, apprehend, detain or remove illegal aliens.
However, state law requires local police departments to cooperate with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to verify or report a person’s immigration status.