Friday, July 15, 2011

287(g) 'An Ethnic Cleansing Machine,' Attorney Says

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Attorney Elliott Ozment filed a fiery response Thursday afternoon in the case that could end the 287(g) immigration program in Nashville. Along with about 15 pages of legalese, Ozment refers to the program, run by the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, as "an ethnic cleansing machine that has focused on minor offenders committing infractions such as 'driving without a license'" while failing to meet federal priorities that call for a focus on dangerous criminals.

As for the legalese, the filing asks U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Sharp to allow the slow-moving case to advance. Metro attorneys have spent the past six months using increasingly more arcane procedural maneuvers to delay the case. We covered the whole thing pretty extensively in this week's dead-tree issue.

Here's a choice cut from Ozment's filing, summarizing what's at stake here:

Aside from this, if the plaintiffs’ legal arguments are correct regarding the lack of the sheriff’s authority to engage in any law enforcement activities (immigration or otherwise) under the Metro Charter, thousands of persons have been falsely imprisoned, thousands of U.S. Citizen spouses and children have had their families illegally destroyed and cast into abject poverty, millions of dollars of Metro tax money (not federal dollars) have been wasted to subsidize this illegal operation (including 287(g) staff payrolls and incarceration per diem costs), and the integrity of the Metro Charter has been assaulted every day for over four (4) years. All of this has been the price paid by Metro to defend what plaintiffs contend is an illegal power-grab by a politically ambitious Sheriff, and Metro evidently has no problem watching this price tag rise even more as it attempts an interlocutory appeal.

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