Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Metro Council's Frank Harrison: why I voted against 287(g)

Metro Council Member Frank Harrison

City Paper also provides broad coverage of opposition viewpoint

Last Tuesday, October 20, three Metro Council members expressed Nashville's first official opposition to 287(g) in its current form. "287(g)" is the name for the program that ratchets up the interactions between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. In some of the 60 or so jurisdictions where 287(g) is in place, thousands of people have been deported even though they are not dangerous criminals. Nashville is one of those jurisdictions.

The council members voting against 287(g) were Megan Barry, Sam Coleman and Frank Harrison.

I asked Frank Harrison why he voted the way he did, and this was his response:
I felt that it was the right thing for me to do and would have preferred some debate before the vote. Perhaps more would have felt the same. Also I would not feel comfortable being part of causing hardships on families.
The lack of debate before the vote was reported by the Tennessean here and lamented by local blogger Aunt B. here:
If you cannot face the people most affected by a decision you make and explain your reasons for making your decision, even if it will be wildly unpopular with them, it tells both you and those people something–that you know you’re doing the wrong thing.
Monday's City Paper gave opponents' points a lot of ink, starting with the main story:
"The reality of the program here is that the vast majority of people who are being identified by this program have committed misdemeanors,” Esquivel said. “Rather than focusing on what I think there's a broad consensus on — which is using this program to target real criminals — we're using it to target people who are not criminals in any sense that the community had in mind when this was rolled out or what it ought to be used for.”
The City Paper's anonymous columnist "Rex Noseworthy" caught a hypothetical about the potential economic impact of 287(g):
“How long will it be a until a Nissan executive from Mexico has a rental car with a faulty blinker and winds up in a Metro jail because of it?” Esquivel asked.
Kleinheider, from the City Paper's sister publication the Nashville Post, explored the influence of ideology on support for or opposition to 287(g):
Most people who support the 287(g) program no more want the police actively targeting undocumented workers to deport than most opponents want the government giving illegal immigrants unfettered access to public services.
The City Paper excerpts above are brief clips; there is more discussion about 287(g) in the full content of the main story here, in Rex's column here, and in Kleinheider's column here.

For full coverage of 287(g) visit

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...