Immigration advocates rally over law enforcement concerns in Knoxville

Originally Published at WATE

Undocumented immigrants and supporters spoke out Tuesday in Knoxville about their concerns over law enforcement ties to federal programs, blocked traffic and four were taken into custody.

Several groups spoke in front of the Knox County Sheriff's Office. They include: No Papers No Fear Riders, Knoxville United Against Racism, Allies for Knoxville Immigrant Neighbors (AKIN) Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) and the Unknowns Working to be Known.

Their focus is such programs as 287(g) and Secure Communities, which they say lead to increased separation of families and promote collaboration between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

The 287(g) program is one component of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) program. It provides local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to team with ICE to combat community challenges.

The Secure Communities program uses an existing federal information-sharing partnership between ICE and the FBI. It helps identify criminal aliens without imposing new or additional requirements on state and local law enforcement, according to the ICE website.

One of Tuesday's speakers was Alejandro Guizar, 19, of Knoxville, an undocumented immigrant in deportation proceedings. All criminal charges were dropped in a case against Guizar, but he continues to fight deportation.

Guizar, Maria Huerta, 65, Maricela Lou, 52, and Fraces Ashley, 65, blocked the intersection on Gay and Hill Streets. They sat on a sign that read "No Papers No Fear," and a banner with the words "Sheriff J.J. Jones' racism hurts Knoxville."

Three of the protesters, Huerta, Lou, and Ashley were released by the police with a ticket for blocking traffic. Guizar was transferred to the Knox County Detention Facility.

There was also a rally and march Tuesday night against 287(g), racial profiling and deportations that went through downtown.

comments powered by Disqus
Back to Top