Tenn. Supreme Court Will Consider Immigration Status Checks

Jan 31, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn (AP) - The State Supreme Court will decide whether the Nashville's sheriff's office violated the Metro Charter when it entered into an agreement with federal immigration authorities.

Attorney Elliott Ozment sued the department in January 2011 on behalf of three Nashville residents affected by the 287(g) program. That program allows deputies to investigate the immigration status of inmates.

Ozment argues the sheriff's office should not participate in the program because the agency gave up its law enforcement powers in the 1963 city-county consolidation. Under the charter, the sheriff's office is responsible for the jail while the Metro Nashville Police Department is responsible for law enforcement.

In an email, a sheriff's office spokeswoman told The Tennessean that Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall believes his department does have the authority to operate the program.