U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said the decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to include Davidson County in its immigration enforcement program will mean valuable training for Davidson County officers dealing with illegal immigrants in the course of their law enforcement duties.
The department’s application has been approved, but a memorandum of agreement must still be signed and Alexander will host a meeting in his office on Jan. 31st to advance that process. Attendees will include Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, Julie L. Myers, the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and members of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation.
“This program will train Davidson County’s officers so that when they are holding someone for a violent crime in the county jail, for example, they can determine if that individual is also an illegal immigrant and, if so, start deportation proceedings,” Alexander said.
“This is a great example of the Tennessee delegation getting good things done for our state by working together in a bipartisan way. Congressmen Jim Cooper and Marsha Blackburn have been leaders in this effort. We’ve all been working hard to make sure the Department of Homeland Security gave this application the consideration it deserved, and I’m glad we’ve gotten some results,” Alexander said.
Senator Alexander initiated contact with DHS on this issue at the beginning of October, and his office has continued to be in communication with the sheriff’s department, DHS, and with the other TN Congressional offices since that time. The Senator followed up by sending a letter in support of the Nashville application at the beginning of December, and later in the month he decided to host a meeting with Sheriff Daron Hall, Congressman Cooper, Congressman Blackburn, and DHS Assistant Secretary Julie Myers to discuss Davidson’s application.
A copy of the Senator’s letter follows:
December 1, 2006
The Honorable Michael Chertoff
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Secretary Chertoff,
Earlier this year your department received an application from the Davidson County Tennessee Sherriff’s office for inclusion in the Section 287 (g) immigration enforcement program administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It is my understanding that on October 10, 2006 the DHS Office of Legislative Affairs communicated to my staff that within 30 days a decision on all the Section 287 (g) applications would be forth coming. Almost 60 days have elapsed since the estimated timeline was established and, to date, no decision has been reached. I strongly support Davidson County’s application, and hope you could provide me with some clarification of when the Sheriff’s office can expect to receive notification of a final decision.
I appreciate your consideration in this matter. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tom Craig of my staff at (202) 224-8986.
Lamar Alexander United States Senate
Cc: Julie Myers
Immigration and Customs Enforcement