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June 23, 2009

ICE won't detain non-U.S. drivers in Nashville

Davidson County sheriff says arrests will continue

"The federal government will no longer detain illegal immigrants caught driving without a license in Nashville.

Instead, the federal system wants to use its bed space to house and deport the most dangerous offenders.

The change is good news to advocates who have complained from the beginning, in spring 2007, that the focus of the local immigration enforcement program is misplaced on people who are only committing traffic infractions.

In fact, one of the biggest criticism of the Davidson County Sheriff's Office has been that all offenders, from those driving without a license to those committing violent felonies, are treated to the same punishment once they are identified as illegal immigrants.

The sheriff, who has stood behind the efficacy of the program, says he will continue to screen every foreign-born person arrested, whether they go directly to federal custody or not.

"Just because the federal government is saying we need to prioritize who is detained, doesn't remove the fact they'll be held accountable in the courtroom," said Sheriff Daron Hall.

"There is no shift. We are still processing everyone for every crime."

Most of the 5,300 people sent toward deportation from Nashville's jail in the past two years spent weeks shuffled from one jail cell to another before being sent out of the country. About 75 percent of them were picked up on traffic offenses ranging from driving without a license to DUI; 25 percent were charged only with license offenses."...

at; http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200906220210/NEWS03/906220342

Posted by VisaLawyer at June 23, 2009 08:41 AM

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