WBIR: Immigration advocates rally against federal initiative

Immigration advocates rally against federal initiative

Apr 12, 2012
Written by
WBIR.com

A group of Knoxville immigration advocates are rallying to keep a federal immigration program from coming to Knox County.

The Allies of Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors protested downtown against the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287-G program.

The program is a federal initiative that allows designated local law enforcement officers the authority for immigration enforcement in their jurisdictions.

Next week, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office has a planned meeting with ICE agents about the program.

The Department of Homeland Security says the program works to arrest illegal immigrants and keep the public safe.

Protesters say 287-G has many flaws.

“It encourages racial profiling; it drives a wedge between the community and the police,” said Zach Hill. “People don’t want to go to the police for domestic problems or anything because they’re going to be deported because of it. And it makes everyone less safe.”

Right now, only two other agencies in Tennessee have partnered with ICE for the program: Davidson County and THP.

We tried talking with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office today, but they say they can’t comment on 287-G until after next week’s meeting.