Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member mapwife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Deputies may start arresting migrants

    Deputies may start arresting migrants

    Daniel González
    The Arizona Republic
    Jan. 13, 2007 12:00 AM

    Specially trained Maricopa County sheriff's deputies soon could begin arresting undocumented immigrants and turning them over to federal authorities for deportation under an agreement being hammered out by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The accord, which could be finalized within days, would give deputies broad powers to combat illegal immigration in Maricopa County, usually the job of the federal government. It comes after Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio began arresting undocumented immigrants last March under a controversial interpretation of the state's anti-human-smuggling law.

    Although the details are still being worked out, Arpaio did not rule out the possibility that deputies could use their expanded authority to question people about their immigration status during traffic stops and infractions as minor as "spitting on the sidewalk."

    "Any time we come across an enforcement action and we find there are illegals present, then we will put our federal authority hat on and we will arrest them," Arpaio said. "I will do anything I can to fight this illegal-immigration problem, and this is one more step."

    A federal official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, though, said the intent of the program is not to use the deputies for routine traffic stops, as Arpaio plans.

    A new enforcement way
    Arpaio is among a growing number of law enforcement officials nationwide interested in partnering with federal authorities to enforce immigration laws under a little-known program. The program is gaining popularity as local communities struggle with ways to address illegal immigration. But the trend has fueled concerns that local officers doubling as immigration agents could undermine public safety by making immigrants reluctant to report crimes. Some fear it also could lead to racial profiling and abuse.

    The program was created in 1996 to help federal immigration officials identify and deport foreign nationals who pose a threat to national security or public safety.But the program didn't catch on with local law enforcement agencies until after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and then only slowly.

    Until this year, only nineagencies nationwide had signed agreements with ICE to allow designated officers to enforce immigration laws. Typically, they are used only as part of special task forces that investigate gangs, smuggling networks and other criminal activity, or to help expedite the deportation of undocumented inmates from jails and prisons.

    But in recent months, the program has gained favor in several communities experiencing increases in illegal immigration. At least 37 agencies in states are negotiating agreements or have asked to participate, according to ICE officials.

    What Arpaio wants
    Arpaio has asked for up to 160 officers to receive the training. That would give him nearly three times as many immigration-enforcement personnel than any other local agency in the country. The federal government would pay for the training and cost of detaining migrants.

    Arpaio is the first law enforcement official in Arizona to seek immigration-enforcement training for patrol officers, in addition to jail staff. His office employs 870 deputies, and 1,800 jail officers. Jail officers would help expedite the deportation of undocumented criminals, while deputies would be used as part of an aggressive campaign to combat illegal immigration by arresting undocumented immigrants who commit crimes, Arpaio said.

    He emphasized that deputies would not engage in racial profiling as part of their expanded authority.

    "I am not going to be going on a street corner and rounding up people just because they look Mexican," Arpaio said.

    Alonzo Peña, special agent in charge of ICE investigations in Arizona, confirmed that federal authorities are negotiating an agreement with Arpaio. But he seemed surprised that Arpaio plans to use deputies designated as immigration officers in such a broad scope, including possibly routine traffic stops.

    "That's not the purpose of this agreement to use it in that manner," Peña said. "It's to go after gang members, smugglers, people who have committed crimes."

    The training would include sections on civil rights laws and avoiding racial profiling, he added. Deputies authorized to enforce immigration laws work under the supervision of ICE agents.

    Community reaction
    Authorizing sheriff deputies to double as immigration agents is drawing cheers from those who support cracking down on undocumented immigrants and concern from immigrant advocates and some police. Randy Pullen, chairman of Protect Our City, pushed a ballot measure to force Phoenix police to enter a similar partnership.

    Arpaio is "doing the right thing," Pullen said.

    Daniel Ortega, a Phoenix lawyer who fought to keep the measure off the ballot, said he fears deputies doubling as immigration agents may sow distrust toward police in immigrant communities throughout the Valley, not just in areas covered by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. "People don't make a distinction. The police are the police," he said.

    Jake Jacobsen, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, the labor union representing 2,600 officers, said police are already too busy to take on the additional responsibility of enforcing federal immigration laws.

    Some immigrant advocates are concerned that under the program, undocumented immigrants who committed crimes would be deported without being prosecuted and then re-enter the U.S., where they could commit more crimes.

    "That's counterproductive," said John Trasviño, president and chief counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund.

    To get what he wants, Arpaio needs approval from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which meets Wednesday. Fulton Brock, the board's chairman, said he hasn't seen the agreement, but he supports the plan.

    Some sheriffs personnel could begin their five-week training in February and be ready to begin enforcing immigration laws in March,Arpaio said. "I would think once people see our cars, they will be very scared, especially if they are illegal," he said. ... uties.html
    Illegal aliens remain exempt from American laws, while they DEMAND American rights...

  2. #2
    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    New Jersey
    Great news!!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts