Monday, January 3, 2011

New law requires all TN jailers to ask inmates if they are in country legally | tennessean.com | The Tennessean

New law requires all TN jailers to ask inmates if they are in country legally tennessean.com The Tennessean

The new immigration rules are decidedly low-tech, consisting of two questions authorities are required to ask every detainee: Where were you born, and are you here legally?

Supporters of the bill said that it's simply a new tool for local law enforcement to help deter illegal immigration by doing something many people thought they were already doing. But critics, including some in law enforcement, question how effective that will be and worry that bringing every county online could gum up an already jammed immigration system in Tennessee at great cost to taxpayers.

The law applies to every jail in the state and every person jailed. Many larger counties, such as Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson, already participate in a similar program. When a detainee is suspected of having questionable citizenship status, his photograph and information are sent to the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE then decides whether to detain that person for deportation or to let him go through the normal legal system.

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