KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A preliminary injunction has been denied in a case against the Knox County Sheriff’s Office for its controversial 287(g) program.
Maria Oviedo-Granados filed a lawsuit against KCSO in Nov. 2021 over the program that permits local law enforcement to independently enforce federal immigration law. She asked for a preliminary injunction to be put in place to stop the program.
This request was denied on March 17. In court documents, the judge wrote that Oviedo-Granados had not “demonstrated the dispositive factor of irreparable harm” required for an injunction.
Oviedo-Granados said she was racially discriminated against, something she claims is tied to KCSO’s involvement in the controversial 287(g) program. She is a Honduran native with a pending asylum claim. She said she called 911 to report domestic abuse.
The call lead to her being arrested for simple assault and transferred to ICE custody where she was held for more than two months before all charges were dropped.
The lawsuit added that the deputies who arrested her did not try to use a translation service.
The 287(g) program has previously drawn criticism and spurred calls to the Dept. of Homeland Security to end the program. Sheriff Tom Spangler has defended the program, saying people are not being targeted because of their immigration status.
The program began under former Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say this is only after they’ve been arrested at the state or local level.