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A controversial immigration program is coming to an end.
The Davidson County Sheriff says his agency will no longer participate in the 287 (g) program.
Immigrants have rallied and protested calling for its end.
"This program destroys families and gives fear to our community," says 19 year old Mercedes Gonzalez.
Now, Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall says the 287 (g) program will not continue in Nashville.
"The levels of foreign born arrests have dipped to the lowest point in 10 years," says Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall.
Sheriff Hall says the immigration enforcement effort, which allowed deputies to check the immigration status of anyone booked into the Metro Jail, is no longer necessary.
More than 10,000 illegal immigrants have been processed for deportation.
Hall says the number of illegal people arrested has dropped from 10% to 2%.
"Make no mistake, 287 (g) has been an overwhelming success," says Sheriff Hall.
Members of Nashville's immigrant community say 287 (g) created fear, and separated families.
Mercedes Gonzales and Amelio Moreno were detained under the program.
"Personally, really happy because this is over, 287 (g)," says Gonzales.
"We're fighting for peace in our communities, for a better future in our communities," says Amelio Moreno.
Attorney Elliott Ozment has filed lawsuits challenging 287 (g). He says the litigation will move forward, but adds this is a step in the right direction.
"It has wreaked havoc with thousands of families in the immigrant community. It has been a long time coming. I think it should have happened a long time ago," says Elliott Ozment.
The Sheriff's department will continue the 287 (g) program until it expires in October. The 12 employees who are assigned to that task will be used elsewhere in the agency.
The Sheriff's Department will still screen foreign born inmates through the "Secure Communities" program.
The federal initiative uses fingerprints to determine if a person is in the country illegally.
Ending 287 (g) will save about $700,000 dollars a year.
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Tuesday, August 21 2012, 07:27 PM CDT
Rebar finishing will add 40 jobs in Knox County
May 21, 2013 11:13 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Another 40 jobs are coming to Knox County as Gerdau (gair-DOW') expands its steel reinforcement bar plant.
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development says the new facility will apply finishing services to rebar now made at the company's Lonsdale mill.
TDEC Commissioner Bill Hagerty and Gerdau officials announced the expansion on Monday, saying the plant will have the capacity to finish about 120,000 tons of steel per year.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said it was good to see a vacant building in the WestBridge Business Park be put back into industrial use.
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BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
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AP Photo FX102, FX103
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
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