DPS says it's helping in fight against illegal immigration
July 15, 2008

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says it's doing its part in the fight against illegal immigration.

Harold Sanders with DPS said, since 2003, the state agency has turned over more than 25,000 illegal immigrants to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. He said DPS officers nab suspected illegals while doing their routine patrol work.

``Year to date for 2008, we have stopped and detained 3,491 individuals who are suspected of being in the country illegally," Sanders said. ``Of that particular number, 2,477 were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

Sanders said, ``Unfortunately, when the public thinks of DPS, they may think of Highway Patrol and they may think the only thing we can do is write speeding tickets. They don't realize that whatever violation of state law exists, we can enforce that."

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has said that his office is the only law enforcement agency that is cracking down on illegal immigration.

Not true, said Sanders, who said DPS is doing its job quietly.

``We're not yelling and screaming that we're the only ones out there doing anything," he said. ``We are part of the overall picture of enforcement, and we are doing a heck of a job with it."