ICE has announced that Knox County’s application for the 287(g) program, in which local law enforcement deputies perform ICE duties on the local government’s dime, has been denied because the agency is not initiating any new 287(g) programs nationwide. Knox County Sheriff J.J. Jones threw a bit of a tempter tantrum at the news, publicly issuing a statement that, “The vast majority of Knox County citizens feel just as I do when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration. I strongly support the 287(g) program and will continue to make every effort to pursue its implementation. I will continue to enforce these federal immigration violations with or without the help of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If need be, I will stack these violators like cordwood in the Knox County Jail until the appropriate federal agency responds.” Sheriff Jones’ statement seriously calls into question his motive for pursuing the program in the first instance. While previously defending his pursuit of the program based on the “safety needs” of the county, his public statement sounds much more like a personal agenda pursued at the cost of county taxpayers.
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