Hamilton County back in bill requiring jailers to check arrestees' immigration status

Hamilton County back in bill requiring jailers to check arrestees' immigration status

May 25th, 2010 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

NASHVILLE - Local jails would be required to check whether arrestees brought to them are legally in the United States under a bill debated Monday night in the Senate.

The bill originally excluded at least 20 counties, including Hamilton and Marion counties. But senators on Monday added an amendment by Sen. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, that applied the measure statewide.

The bill also directs the state's Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission to set up specific training guidelines.

"It gives us consistency across the state of the manner in which this is going to be applied," said Sen. Black, who is running for the GOP's 6th Congressional District nomination.

She said her amendment was intended to resolve concerns from sheriffs.

The move came after more than a week of attacks by one of her GOP primary opponents, Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, who has accused her of being soft on illegal immigration because she voted to exclude two of her counties from the bill's provisions.