Bishops J. Mark Spalding of Nashville, Richard Stika of Knoxville and Martin Holley of Memphis have written to Gov. Bill Haslam urging him to "use your authority as governor to put an end to the fast-track executions planned" in the state of Tennessee in the upcoming months.
Tragedy struck an American city April 22 when a gunman fatally shot four innocent people at a Waffle House in Antioch, just outside of Nashville.
President Donald Trump, during a campaign rally in Nashville, vowed to fight the latest court ruling blocking his executive order temporarily suspending immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and refugee resettlement all the way to the Supreme Court.
"We're going to fight this terrible ruling," the president told a crowd of cheering supporters in Nashville's Municipal Auditorium March 15. "The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear."
Catholic Charities of Tennessee executive director Pam Russo delivered the "devastating news" to 13 employees in the agency's Refugee Resettlement office Feb. 23 that they no longer had jobs.
"We had to close tremendous budget gaps and we didn't see another way to do it," Russo said. "We really looked at every possible way of maintaining our current staff level and we could not make it work."