Vice Mayor David Briley and other local lawmakers urged the city Wednesday to adopt two bills that would put into practice some sanctuary city-like policies in Nashville.
Ariana Maia Sawyer / USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

Immigration is one of the most urgent problems our country faces today. With a little political will and leadership, it can be solvable.

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented people in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center. These people are living and working in the shadows in fear of deportation or prosecution, instead of contributing to and helping to grow our economy.

Meanwhile, nationally and in our state, businesses across industries like agriculture, construction and technology are suffering critical shortages of workers needed to fill open job positions.

We find ourselves here because, for years, elected officials have not taken the necessary steps to pass immigration reform to keep up with a changing world.

The most recent attempt at reform in 2013 received bipartisan support in the Senate, including support from two great statesmen of Tennessee, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, but failed in the House.

Now, the political will to pass immigration reform seems to be changing. In the past several weeks, Republican statesmen like U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina have renewed reform conversations to address the calls from businesses and communities.

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce believes leaders on both sides of the political aisle can come together and agree on several key elements to achieve meaningful reform.