KCSO signs agreement to continue partnership with ICE

In this July 8, 2019, photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers detain a...
In this July 8, 2019, photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers detain a man during an operation in Escondido, Calif. The carefully orchestrated arrest last week in this San Diego suburb illustrates how President Donald Trump's pledge to start deporting millions of people in the country illegally is virtually impossible with ICE's budget and its method of picking people up. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)(WVLT)
Published: May. 14, 2020 at 2:30 PM EDT
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The Knox County Sheriff's Office signed an agreement to continue to participate in a partnership known as 287(g) which allows Knox County Deputies to assist the Immigration Enforcement Agency.

Knox County initially adopted the initiative in early 2018.

The program allows ICE to deputize local or state law-enforcement agencies so they can enforce federal immigration laws. Under 287(g), these specially trained officers are allowed to screen jailed immigrants, determine their immigration status, and hold immigrants for ICE agents to pick up for deportation.

The agreement has faced backlash in the past, sparking a

in downtown Knoxville.

The sheriff's office released a statement on the matter Thursday afternoon, saying:

Sheriff Spangler has signed the renewal for the 287(g) program. Sheriff Spangler has stated that he believes that it is in the best interest of Knox County to continue the agreement. Additionally, as Sheriff Spangler has stated many times before, If you do NOT commit a crime, you have nothing to worry about. Knox County Sheriff's Office Deputy's are NOT out knocking on doors looking for those who may be here illegally.

Knox County officials said the agreement has not yet been signed by ICE.

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