Governor Bill Haslam decided this morning to let the sanctuary cities bill go into effect without his signature.
The measure requires state and local law enforcement to detain immigrants for deportation at the request of federal officials without requiring warrants or probable cause.
The bill states that not complying could lead to a loss of state economic funding for local governments.
Numerous groups from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition had urged the governor to veto the bill. Critics have contended the bill is unconstitutional for violating unreasonable search and seizure rights.
Supporters point to the fact that the bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the Tennessee legislature.