NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The story stole headlines across Nashville, after a targeted stop by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents took a turn.
ICE agents were stopping Jose Fernando Andrade-Sanchez
Andrade-Sanchez, who was driving a white van, would attempt to flee. Agents however, claimed he drove the van at them.
The confrontation was caught on camera, as Andrade-Sanchez was shot by an agent.
“This particular individual is a 39-year-old unlawfully present Mexican National,” explained Bryan Cox, Spokesperson with ICE, following the attempted arrest. “He’s been deported from the United States multiple times before,”
Andrade-Sanchez has been deported before, four times in fact.
Cases like his though, not uncommon says the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC).
“Especially those who come back multiple times, after multiple deportations,” explained Mary-Kathryn Harcombe, Legal Director with TIRRC. “They’re doing it because they are coming home. Their home is the United States. This is where theirr family is, their children are.”
Andrade-Sanchez would turn himself into the FBI, and was soon released.
Two weeks later though, ICE would not be denied.
The accused would be caught in the parking lot of Ozment Law, after he sought immigration advice.
“I hear screaming from our reception, that there’s ICE agents outside, and they’re arresting our client,” explained his attorney Aaron Dendy, who witnessed the arrest. “The first thing I notice is an ice officer holding a gun over our client, who’s face down on the ground.”
Jose Andrade-Sanchez is now in the hands of federal authorities. The Department of Justice laid out his previous charges in a release.
These included a 10-year-old domestic assault case. Andrade-Sanchez was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, and striking a three year old, possibly breaking his nose.
All other charges though, stem from repeatedly returning to Nashville.
Dendy and Harcombe are concerned, that this most recent arrest outside an immigration attorney’s office, may set a new precedent.
“When you try to chill that, or try to scare people away from getting legal help, you’re basically denying that group of people a fair shake in that system,” said Harcombe.
“What seemed like just a degradation of what is one of the founding principles of our society, access to council,” added Dendy.
While this case, and ICE’s role in Nashville evolves, Aaron hopes all sides will pause and keep the big picture in mind.
“There’s just no nuance, and that makes me sad for myself, makes me sad for other immigration attorneys, makes me sad for the ice agents,” he said. “Most people are just trying to do their job.”
News 2 is digging deeper into ICE activity in Tennessee, the dynamics involved and the debate that has followed. See our special reports all day Thursday in every newscast. Click here to read more.