KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has approved a Tennessee county’s participation in a program that allows certain law enforcement officials to act as ICE agents in exchange for training and funding.
News outlets report the Knox County Sheriff’s Office joined the 287(g) program earlier this month. Knox County is the only jurisdiction in the state participating in this federal program. 287(g) gives local law enforcement the authority to decide who goes into deportation proceedings.
Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones says 287(g) will save the county money by holding undocumented inmates for less time.
Jesse Mayshark, spokesman for Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, says Knoxville will not join the program. He says it’ll lead to fear in the community and will make it harder for Knoxville officers to do their jobs.