287(g) is Fully Activated
January 1, 2018
According to a statement made by Sheriff J.J. Jones in a public steering committee meeting in July 2018, the 287(g) contract was fully activated on January 1st of 2018 (19).
Knox County Sheriff Candidates Comment on 287(g)
May 24, 2018
During the Knox County Sheriff candidate forum, both candidates are asked about the 287(g) program. Both express their support for the program. Lee Tramel says, "I have a great deal of empathy for people coming to this country to better themselves and their family, I really do. But if you break the law and you're here illegally this program will touch you. If you don't break the law and you're here illegally this program will not touch you." Sheriff Spangler says the program is designed to protect the community and agrees with Tramel. He also states, "You have no fear. Because as we mentioned earlier, (deputies) aren't out profiling... just because you look different doesn't mean somebody's going to come up to you and ask if you're here illegally. No, it's not going to happen" (45).
(45) Sheriff candidates tough on opioids, support change; Photo Credit: Calvin Mattheis
287(g) Steering Committee Meeting Slated for June 26
May 24, 2018
(27) 287(g) Steering Committee Meeting Slated for June 26
The 287(g) contract requires KCSO to host a public steering committee meeting focused on the program at least once a year. KCSO is required to release a notice "at least 30 days prior the the meeting date and time" (3). On May 24th, KCSO announces that the first of these meetings in scheduled for June 26th.
Note: The time and date for this meeting subsequently changes 3 times. In an email sent between ICE and KCSO, ICE states they are rescheduling the meeting due to "an increase in hostilities regarding current family separation perceptions being made some groups that will be protesting at City/County Building" (28). Scroll to learn more about the changes to the meeting date/time, KCSO's notification of these changes, and community response to the changes.
287(g) Steering Committee Meeting Postponed to July 10
June 20, 2018
(29) 287(g) Steering Committee Postponed 1
ICE and KCSO reschedule the 287(g) steering committee meeting to July 10th.
Note: The time and date for this meeting subsequently changes 2 times. In an email sent between ICE and KCSO, ICE states they are rescheduling the meeting due to "an increase in hostilities regarding current family separation perceptions being made some groups that will be protesting at City/County Building" (28). Scroll to learn more about the changes to the meeting date/time, KCSO's notification of these changes, and community response to the changes.
ICE has concerns about
"groups that will be protesting at City/County Building"
June 20, 2018
In an email between KCSO and ICE, ICE postpones the Annual Steering Committee meeting "due to an increase in hostilities regarding current family separation perceptions being made some groups that will be protesting at City/County Building" (28).
(28) 287(g) Steering Committee Postponed
287(g) Steering Committee Meeting Changed to July 11
June 21, 2018
(30) 287(g) Steering Committee Postponed 2
ICE and KCSO reschedule the 287(g) steering committee meeting to July 11th. Later that same day, they change the time from 11:30 am to 8:30 am.
Note: These changes do not adhere to the requirement set in the Steering Committee Charter for Knox County's 287(g) program. According to this document, KCSO is required to release a notice "at least 30 days prior the the meeting date and time" (3). This final change only affords Knox County residents a 10 day notice.
Furthermore, according to public records requests made by AKIN, the meeting was never actually scheduled for July 11th at 11:30am (33).
(31) 287(g) Steering Committee Postponed 3
Sheriff J.J. Jones Signs the Bed Contract for $10,050
June 28, 2018
The original Detention Bed Contract with the United States Marshall Service was signed in 2013. However, in 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement joins the contract and issues a task order for $10,050. This makes the contract operable in Knox County and allows the Sheriff's Department to be reimbursed for the bed space occupied by those detained for ICE.
The contract sets a rate of $67 per bed at 150 each from July 1, 2018 until June 30, 2019 (21).
(21) Detention Bed Contract
Detention Bed Contract is Ready for Use
July 1, 2018
"Knox has been funded and is ready for use on or after July 1st" (23).
Knox County can start being reimbursed for the bed space used to hold people for ICE.
(23) Knox County DB is Ready
AKIN: When the heck is the KCSO 287(g) steering
committee meeting, anyway?
July 6, 2018
AKIN publishes an article drawing attention to the 287(g) steering committee meeting changes. They detail the four date/time changes and acknowledge that these changes disregard the standards set in the Steering Committee Charter. They also report:
"It is hard to believe that this number of changes is anything other than a cynical attempt by KCSO and ICE to confuse the public and decrease the number of people who show up to speak out against this program" (32).
287(g) Steering Committee Meeting
July 11, 2018
(37) AKIN Steering Committee Photo 1
(38) AKIN Steering Committee Photo 2
The 287(g) Steering Committee Meeting takes place July 11th at 8:30am. Concerned community members hold signs saying "End 287(g)" and "No one is illegal!" A representative from ICE, Sheriff Jones, and various community members speak about the 287(g) program.
(39) AKIN Steering Committee Photo 3
(40) AKIN Steering Committee Photo 4
Footage from this meeting appears in Netflix's documentary series titled "Immigration Nation."
Mayoral Candidate Expresses Support for 287(g)
July 25, 2018
The republican mayoral candidate for Knox County, Glenn Jacobs, expresses his support for 287(g). He says: "I understand that's the sheriff's decisions so, sorry... I don't think that they're rounding people up." He also says: "We pay for everything and then people come here using the resources which are provided by the people who live here and a lot of times take their jobs" (61).
Note: Glenn Jacobs will later be elected as Knox County's mayor.
(61) Glenn Jacobs' blog reflects different views on immigration than current position; Photo Credit: Calvin Mattheis
The Economist: Under Donald Trump, more cops are acing as immigration-enforcement agents
July 27, 2018
The Economist publishes an article about the 287(g) program and Knox County's implementation of it. They note that Knox County's 287(g) Steering Committee Meeting lasted 3 hours due to a "group of protesters demanding the county's withdrawal from" the program.
The Economist acknowledges that while ICE argues that the program is a "tremendous benefit to public safety," others argue that "it encourages racial profiling and sows mistrust among immigrant communities." They note previous problems with the implementation of 287(g) and state: "the fight over 287(g) is likely to continue" (42).
Knox County ICE detainees spike after ex-sheriff signs new agreement
September 9, 2018
In an article published by the Knox News Sentinel, Tyler Whetstone reports that "the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees in the Knox County jail increased 300 percent in August over the monthly average as a new, amended county contract with the federal government took effect." Citing research performed by Meghan Conley, a University of Tennessee sociology professor and member of Allies of Knoxville's Immigrant Neighbors, he says the county has detained at least 269 ICE detainees from September 2017 until July 2018.
He then reports Sheriff J.J. Jones' statements on how the new contract allows KCSO to be reimbursed $67 a day per inmate. Sheriff Jones states that the county had previously held ICE detainees but was not reimbursed for it and was rather "helping them out." A spokesman for ICE says he hopes the contract makes "the county a hub for ICE detainees in the region, speeds up processing times and decreases the number of transports for detainees." (62).
AKIN: Knox County Jail Enters Secretive Contract
to House Immigrant Detainees
September 12, 2018
AKIN discovers the existence of the detention bed contract and publishes an article explaining the contract and expressing their concerns. They also note that there has been a 300% increase in the number of monthly immigrant detentions since the implementation of the contract.
They report that "residents of Knox County should be deeply concerned that the jail has become a secretive ICE detention center." Citing the lack of public scrutiny, history of abuse in the Knox County Jail, and doubts about the "cost-saving" nature of the contract, AKIN urges the newly elected Sheriff Spangler to re-evaluate "KCSO's participation in the federal deportation regime" (36).
Detention Bed Contract Funding Increases to $34,036
September 27, 2018
The funding allocated to the detention bed contract increases from $10,050 to $34,036, for a net increase of $48,374.
Center for American Progress: Rapidly Expanding 287(g) Program Suffers from Lack of Transparency
October 9, 2018
The Center for American Progress publishes a paper on the lack of transparency surrounding the 287(g) program. They cite "legal challenges resulting rom allegations of racial profiling and civil rights abuse" as well as "serious criticism regarding financial mismanagement."
Through their research, they find that "most localities with 287(g) agreements demonstrate lack of meaningful oversight", citing Knox County as an example (43).
(43) Center for American Progress: Rapidly Expanding 287(g)
October 24, 2018
Detention Bed Contract Funding Increases to $82,374
ICE Funding Agreement without a Signed Order
November 7, 2018
ICE funds the detention bed agreement without a signed contract from September to November of 2018. Chief Mike Ruble—the Knox County Sheriff's Office's Chief of Administration—needs approval from the Knox County Law Department before sending the completed, signed contract to ICE. He fails to complete this process on time, prompting ICE to inform KCSO that they "were in jeopardy of not being reimbursed for the services we have already rendered to ICE" (24)
(24) KCSO in Jeopardy of Not Being Reimbursed
(25) ICE Funding Agreement without Signed Order