Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Eighty percent of Sheriff's deportations are for misdemeanors

287(g) program called a "clumsy tool," hurts integration

Dangerous criminal offenses are not the main cause for deportation under the Davidson County Sheriff's Office's year-old program to enforce immigration law - called "287(g)." Here is an excerpt from last year's interview with Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall by the Hispanic Nashville Notebook:
HNN: Will there be any evaluation of whether 287(g) catches more dangerous criminals than ordinary immigrants, or vice versa? Would you be able to guess now what those statistics would look like?

Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall: I won’t predict what any stats will look like, but we do plan to keep extensive, detailed statistics.
Here is the news from an article in the Tennessean today:
[A]ccording to statistics from the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, about 80 percent of those processed for deportation hearings were arrested on misdemeanor charges. Of those, about 40 percent were arrested on traffic offenses such as driving without a license.
Catalina Nieto, public awareness coordinator for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, said that she commends any program that removes dangerous criminals from the streets but that the screening program is a "clumsy tool" to do that.
Although many bemoan the failure of certain immigrants to integrate, one of Nieto's colleagues pointed out in today's Nashville City Paper that 287(g) is one of the many citizen-led programs that has led to increased, not decreased, isolation of immigrants:
“This program has had a very chilling effect on the immigrant community and immigrant community members are much less willing to interact with the broader community,” said Stephen Fotopulos, policy director for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.
Photo by Christine. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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