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Thu December 13, 2012
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ACLU Pans Fed Program Rutherford County Plans to Implement

Credit ACLU-TN

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has released a report highly critical of a federal immigration enforcement program that Rutherford County has applied to participate in.

The 287(g) program allows local law enforcement agencies to detain people on federal immigration violations.

The ACLU report focuses on the Davidson County Sheriff Office’s experience with the federal program. David County Sheriff Daron Hall recently opted out of the program saying it was labor intensive, but characterized his department’s 287(g) experiment a success.

While the program has been promoted as a tool to deport violent criminals, the ACLU study suggest most of the nearly 10,000 individuals Davidson County helped deport were initially detained for minor infractions, mostly traffic violations.

Both Knox and Rutherford County have applied to launch their own versions of 287(g). The ACLU says it hopes the report will discourage them from doing so.  Union spokesperson Hedy Weinberg says she’s especially worried about the program’s use in Rutherford County.

“We are especially concerned that Rutherford County’s application, given the area’s history of hostility toward immigrants and Muslims, will result in a fairly serious problem in the community around racial profiling and due process violations.”

When asked by WMOT for a comment on the report, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lisa Marchesoni responded with a written statement saying the department hasn’t had a chance to review the ACLU report yet. She added that the Sheriff’s office will “respect the rights of all people,” and will enforce the law equally.