Five arrested immigrants were identified for federal detention this week during a test run of a new Nashville jail program that Sheriff Daron Hall says could lead to the deportation of up to 1,000 illegal aliens each year, The Tennessean reports. Fifteen sheriff’s deputies who have been trained by federal authorities to check the immigration backgrounds of every foreign-born prisoner booked at Nashville’s main lockup. (The Los Angeles Times reported that 10 percent of inmates arriving in the Orange County, Ca., sheriff’s jail system during the first five weeks of the program–639 people in all– were found to be likely illegal immigrants and were set to face hearings that could result in their deportation.)
Deputies pulled the records of a handful of inmates who were serving time after having been convicted of crimes. “It was discovered all five of them were here illegally,” Hall said. As a result, immigration holds were placed on the five. Instead of being released after their terms, they will be turned over to federal officers for deportation proceedings. Nashville is among a half-dozen U.S. cities participating in a federal program that trains local officers to enforce immigration laws. Hall sought out the program last year after several high-profile crimes in which illegal immigrants were arrested.