Sheriff Joe stripped of ICE agent status

PHOENIX — An Arizona sheriff known for aggressively cracking down on illegal immigration has been stripped of some of his special power to enforce federal immigration law, and he claims the Obama administration is taking away his authority for political reasons.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose office faces racial profiling allegations over crime and immigration sweeps in some heavily Latino areas of metro Phoenix, said officials from Washington won’t let him renew a deal that let his deputies make federal immigration arrests.

“Let them all go brag that they took away the sheriff’s authority. Let them all do that. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t have an ego. I will continue doing the same thing,” the Republican sheriff said, noting he can still enforce state immigration laws. “What has changed, other than the politics and the perception emanating from Washington?”

The U.S. government, which does most of the nation’s immigration enforcement, is changing its rules for allowing local police to enforce more expansive federal immigration laws. Nationally, more than 1,000 local police and jail officers have been granted the power since 2002 to make immigration requests and speed up deportations.

Arpaio has more officers with the special powers than any other local police agency in the country. For more than two years, 100 of his deputies have made immigration arrests and another 60 jail officers have identified inmates who are illegal immigrants.

Even though federal officials declined to let the sheriff keep making immigration arrests, Arpaio last week renewed a deal that will let his jail officers determine inmates’ immigration status.

Arpaio said federal officials offered no explanation of why his powers were cut in half.

Vinnie Picard, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which grants the special powers, declined to comment on the curtailment of Arpaio’s powers or whether any of the other 62 participating local agencies across the country have been denied renewals.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will make no final decisions on the agreements until Oct. 14, which is the deadline for renewing the agreements. So far, at least three agencies have dropped out of the program.

Giving federal powers to local police helps supplement the small staff of federal agents who enforce immigration laws in the country’s interior, said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which favors tougher immigration enforcement.

He said it’s hard to tell whether the limits on Arpaio’s authority will extend to other agencies and would hamper the movement for local police to confront illegal immigration.

“I suspect there is some effort there to send a warning to other police departments: Don’t get too aggressive with this, because we will yank it out from under you,” Mehlman said.

Joan Friedland, immigration policy director for the National Immigration Law Center, said the federal government wasn’t making a serious attempt to rein in Arpaio, because his jail officers still have the power to question jailed people about their immigration status.

“All he has to do is get people to the jail, rather than being able to question them about their immigration status on the street,” said Friedland, whose group advocates for low-income immigrants.

For his part, Arpaio said he plans to continue cracking down illegal immigration by enforcing state laws that prohibit immigrant smuggling and ban employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

Arpaio said his deputies can still detain suspected illegal immigrants who haven’t committed state crimes, as long as his officers call Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to pick them up.

Critics say some of Arpaio’s deputies racially profiled people during immigration sweeps. Arpaio maintains that people pulled over in the sweeps were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes.

His office is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures.

A September 2008 audit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the relationship between that agency and the sheriff’s office was good, but noted that most rank-and-file patrol deputies who had the special training and who weren’t part of a special smuggling unit had rarely used their federal powers, because they didn’t have the experience – or didn’t want to take the time – to process illegal immigrants.

The review also noted that the local FBI office received no complaints against officers with the special training.

Arpaio’s approach to immigration has frustrated other public officials.

The mayor of Mesa complained in 2008 that Arpaio didn’t warn his city of raids by deputies who were looking for illegal immigrants working at his city’s library and City Hall.

And as Arpaio’s sweeps began to draw heavy criticism in 2008, then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, cut off immigration enforcement dollars to his office.

Napolitano, who as the country’s homeland security secretary now oversees the federal government’s immigration agencies, had said it wasn’t an attempt to change Arpaio’s approach to cracking down on illegal immigration. Rather, she said the funding was reallocated to try to clear a backlog of thousands of outstanding felony warrants across the state.
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4 Responses to “Sheriff Joe stripped of ICE agent status”

  1. Brittanicus says:

    Now they want to push another BLANKET AMNESTY upon us. The Democrats have promised those already here a path to citizenship, that defies all logic. It means access to our health care reform instantly, totalization of social security with those from South of the border. It means sharing your retirement with the majority of foreign nationals who been sponging of Americans for decades. It means more welfare for the old, the indigent who will follow on, through chain migration. It means your living standards falling to that of third world existence. If Amnesty passes do you think for one minute that those without hope in other countries are—NOT–going to pour through our porous border? I'm getting old, but I fear for my son’s future, my family. I have my pensions, but where do you stand? Will you get a pension upon retirement? Our infrastructure has suffered, because we send our young people to fight foreign wars for special interests. For years those who supposedly embody us in Washington, have seriously neglected our road, rail, utilities and communications network. The special interests are the multi-national companies, who have no loyalty to America, the people or the US Constitution. Then there are the majority of our politicians, who have slowly succumbed to business handouts? The only thing they have any loyalty to, is filling their own bank accounts with campaign contributions and undisclosed lucrative gifts. DID AMERICA COME ALL THIS WAY TO SINK BELOW A LAYER OF GREED AND UNBELIEVABLE CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON, SINCE THE TIME OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONWe should replace the pit of Vipers led by Sen. Harry Reid and joined by Liberal Democrat leaders last week–KILLED–by a vote of 61 to 38 shot down Senator Vitters amendment of that would have withdrawn federal funds to–SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES. It is more taxpayer money being stolen to support illegal families, gang members and other heinous criminals who broached our laws. The IRS is actually extracting the money you earn, to take it in April, to support Anchor families included with the 20 million to thirty million people that should be ejected from our nation. Homeland security run by Napolitano is in deep collusion with sleaze that is catered to in Washington. Perhaps–just perhaps if we used public funding for election Campaigns for the politicians, it would assist in removing the corruption in DC, severing the lobbyists. Speaker of the House is another problem, who runs her vineyards with illegal foreign workers in CALIFORNIA. But that is just scratching the surface of both parties as they are perpetually involved in running the country for the globalists.

  2. Brittanicus says:

    Sen.David Vitter offered an amendment to sever Federal funds to SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES, but as always they failed to observe the "Rule of Law." The vote went along party lines except for three Republicans who voted with the Democrats to table the amendment. One Democrat voted against the motion – Landrieu (LA). Even though we can throw the conspirators out, when they come up for re-election it will have little effect? Even though they lose their seats, they will be reimbursed by their corporate friends with nice civilian desk jobs, with bloated pay checks.Only if we stand together and demand E-Verify program, our uniformed police right to question and detain people of unauthorized immigration status 287 G? Hopefully next year Americans will see through the greed, in the Senate and house and start by–REMOVING–Sen. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Diane Feinstein, even Secretary Clinton. ALL have millions of illegal aliens living off taxpayers in California and Nevada. GO and investigate their immigration grading and every lawmaker at NUMBERSUSA website. Vote them out? WE MUST HAVE E-VERIFY AS A MANDATED LAW, SEN. HARRY REID SOLD US OUT TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY AT 202-224-3121 and give them an ULTIMATUM. Businesses that hire the millions of illegal aliens are bleeding us dry, because we pay for the health care and education and for hundreds of thousands in the prisons. Your tax dollars are paying for warm cells and California has the largest proportion of any state. MAKE ENTERING AMERICA A CLASS ONE FELONY, LIKE OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES. EVEN MEXICO YOU ARE DRAGGED INTO ONE OF THOSE REPUGNANT PRISONS.The fact is uncomplicated that E-Verify WORKS! And it is up, running and operational, so that illegal foreign workers other than a few using counterfeit documents will be discovered and eliminated from the workplace. Th Special interest lobbyists want it dropped, because it has grown in popularity and more sincere Pro-American companies are using it? Another simple fact is that its—SUCCEEDING! It is now hurting the elusive Council of Foreign Relations agenda to destabilize American workers and substitute even more cut-rate even a government agency, but a Quasi agency that is a kind of sinister think tank. For years they have been formatting their power to undo the poorly built border fence, wreck inspections at airports, so millions more can pour into American and steal jobs. Nor does matter to the illicit ACLU, a communist inspired group or business consortium's, who owe no loyalty to US workers? It is a case of drowning America in low wage recruits, who are not just working in the fields, but janitors, fast food, factories, warehouses and higher paying jobs then citizens and legal employees realize?. AMERICAN WORKERS MUST MAKE A STAND. Anybody who legally displays the E-Verify sign should get the customers dollars, those who don't comply should be absolutely BOYCOTTED. I go to El Pollo Loco, but not to McDonalds-because I haven't seen the E-Verify sign yet? Same I only try to buy AMERICAN? But that is even becoming more indefinable, because many parts of products are imported in from cheap labor countries, killing our own manufacturing base. WE ARE SELF-INFLICTING OUR OWN WOUNDS?

  3. Brittanicus says:

    The same with not training our own workers and instead imported significantly more labor from other lands by the millions each year. Thus we cheat our own industries. We can beat this, by electing politicians who sign a–CONTRACT– stating American workers come first? Not those just affirming an oath of office, since to many it's meaningless. These contracts can be published and shown to the public and the national media. We are cutting our own throats in so many ways, because many bona-fide US Americans don't bother to vote the political corruption–OUT OF OFFICE. Most of the lawmakers are out for gain, not truly there to protect the American poor, not protecting our vulnerable senior's, not even really protecting our military, if they even come home? With the health care reform as a major issue, then research you’re local, state of federal lawmaker and locate their screened interests in pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, insurance, billing companies or anything that exudes money? They are just coveting their own interests? THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE THE ULTIMATE POWER, TO STOP THIS TRAVESTY OF OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS. Even our police departments are under attack by pro illegal immigrant politicians and open border crazies, which includes an old timer like Sheriff Joe Ariapo. He was following federal law called 287 G, to apprehend criminal aliens. But their all Criminals. They entered a sovereign nation without permission. Joe will thankfully carry on under state law and nothing will deter him? IT SHOULD BE MADE A CLASS ONE FELONY AS IT IS IN DEVELOPED NATIONS.

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