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6:29 a.m. August 24, 2013
Knoxville/Knox County League of Women Voters stunned by Sheriff’s “cordwood” remark

KNOXVILLE – The League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County issued a statement from President Kim Lauth regarding Knox County Sheriff J.J. Jones' remark in response to the federal government's decision to reject the county's application for the 287(g) program. Jones said the federal government is shirking its responsibilities for providing safety and security to its citizens. The Sherif said he would enforce immigration violations with or without federal help and, if need be, "stack these violators like cordwood in the county jail."

The League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County was stunned by the statement made by Jones on a County government website. "We stand firm in our position that all persons should receive fair treatment under the law and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination. We were disappointed in Sheriff Jones statement, which was uncharacteristic and divisive," the League said.

The League has a well-studied, consensus position that supports federal immigration law and that provides an efficient, expeditious system for legal entry of immigrants into the United States. In addition, they support federal payments to impacted communities to address the financial costs borne by states and local governments with large immigrant populations.

However, while policy reforms, including a path to legal status, remain unachieved, the League does not support deporting unauthorized immigrants who have no history of criminal activity. The League believes that the community needs to come together to hear different voices and consider different options on this important community issue and urge all of our government officials to work together with the community so that we can find solutions rather than spread such strong rhetoric.

The League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County, a nonpartisan, political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government; works to increase understanding of major public policy issues; and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.lwvknoxville.org, or www.facebook.com/lwvknoxville.

Published August 24, 2013

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