As we previously shared on our social media channels, on the evening of Friday, July 12, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested at least six Latinx residents in Jackson, Tennessee with the assistance of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
We have been on the ground since Saturday morning, responding to reports of the arrests and gathering information about those affected and how the arrests were carried out.
Initial reports indicate that those arrested were stopped in their vehicles by officers from the Sheriff’s department near a predominantly Latinx neighborhood, then turned over to waiting federal immigration agents.
We are continuing to investigate troubling reports about these arrests and will share more information about those detained and the circumstances of their arrest in the coming days.
We are working with our local and national partners to mount a robust defense for those arrested and the community that was targeted. We have been working to educate community members in the area on how to exercise their rights if they are approached by ICE or local law enforcement.
If you have any information about any of the arrests in Jackson, Tennessee, please call 615-414-1030.
We have no information about any additional ICE activity planned for Tennessee and have received no reports that any other ICE activity occurred in Tennessee over the weekend. We don’t know what ICE will do - but we do know our power. We are encouraging every community in Tennessee to take time to learn their rights and share this information with your friends and family.
The operation in Jackson took place as the country braced itself for massive immigration enforcement operations in cities across the United States ordered by President Trump that were scheduled to begin Sunday morning. No cities in Tennessee had been on the list of cities that were reported to be the target of these planned raids.
Separate from these planned raids, the arrests in Jackson are an example of less-publicized, ongoing enforcement that relies on insidious collaboration between local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration authorities to terrorize immigrant communities and separate families.
While immigrant communities here and across the country braced themselves for the reported enforcement operations, ICE agents and their local partners in Jackson seemingly saw an opportunity to capitalize on the national wave of terror ICE has created in cities across the country by targeting individuals as they were going about their daily lives.
The decision by local authorities to help ICE carry out these arrests during this weekend of heightened fears was irresponsible and reckless. These arrests will further erode trust in local institutions and have lasting damage on the health and safety of the entire community.
While elected officials and law enforcement in other parts of the country worked to protect their residents from devastating ICE raids, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office appears to have been eager participants.
We will continue to organize to protect our communities and keep local law enforcement from helping to deport our families. The combined actions of our local and federal governments to separate families and terrorize communities are an affront to our values.