Tennessee sheriff to terminate 287(g) agreement

The Davidson County sheriff office announced Tuesday that it will not renew its much-criticized agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Sheriff Daron Hall, whose office has been accused of abusing immigrants’ rights, said his department’s participation in 287(g) will end in October.

287(g) requires deputies to verify the immigration status of people detained for other offenses if they are suspected of unlawful status in the U.S. After signing up with 287 (g) in 2007, the Davidson County Sheriff’s office has processed over 10,000 immigrants, resulting in thousands of deportations. The Southern Poverty Law Center found in a report that the majority of immigrants detained by 287(g) were arrested for minor offenses, like driving without a license.

Hall cited an 80 percent reduction in the incidence of undocumented immigrants among arrested individuals in Nashville as proof that 287(g) “is no longer needed.”

Organizations including the ACLU and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition have fought for five years to have the program abolished. Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, expressed her hope that “this announcement begins a new era in which all residents of Nashville are treated equally, whatever the color of their skin or their ethnicity, and consonant with our reputation as an inclusive city that welcomes everyone.”

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