Knox County Sheriff - Sheriff J.J. Jones
Knox County Sheriff News
Sheriff Jones Meets with Immigration Agents
Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones met with agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Monday afternoon on what’s known as the 287(g) program. The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday morning but was changed because the sheriff and ICE officials wanted to alleviate the misinformation and circus-like atmosphere that has been prevalent for the last several days. Sheriff Jones and ICE officials will be meeting in the near future with the media and the community to answer any questions about the proposed program which could be implemented in the corrections division.
Basically, the 287(g) program would simply speed up a screening process already in progress in the Knox County Jails. This component is strictly for the corrections side of law enforcement and has nothing to do with the patrol side. Nationwide, the 287(g) program has already resulted in the identification and removal of thousands of convicted criminal aliens from the United States. While many have already been removed, some of the most serious offenders are still completing their criminal sentences and will be taken into ICE custody once due process is completed.
In Monday’s meeting, ICE officials outlined that a memorandum of agreement would be the next step for Knox County. That MOA, however, is under review at ICE headquarters for all MOAs across the country. If the agreement is signed an information technology (IT) assessment will be conducted. Any equipment needed will be supplied by ICE. ICE will also pay the expenses for 8 officers to be trained in a five week course in South Carolina. A full-time supervisor from ICE will also be assigned to the Detention Facility to make sure all guidelines are followed.
A specific time line has not been determined as there are still many variables to be considered before the program could be implemented. “If my decision is to move forward with this program, it will be because of my concern for the safety of Knox County residents,” said Sheriff Jones. “And to protect the rights of all law abiding United States citizens.”