Advocates call for end to immigration enforcement program in Knox County

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Immigrant rights advocates are again speaking against Knox County’s participation in the controversial 287(g) program.

Rallies have called for the Sheriff’s Office to reject the program that allows deputies to take on some duties of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

KCSO has been taking part in the ICE for two years now. The nonprofit Allies for Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors hosted a virtual press conference Friday.

AKIN and other local advocates want answers about the program’s impact in our community and are pushing for Sheriff Tom Spangler to put an end to it.

Knox County is the only county in Tennessee that has agreed to take part in this program.

Back in August, Sheriff Spangler said its simply a way to protect our community.

“If you don’t commit a crime, you don’t have to worry about us. We’re not knocking on doors. We’re not going out here looking for people.”

Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler

Sheriff Spangler has refused to rescind the contract every time he’s been asked, and has sworn to continue signing the contract as long as he’s in office.

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