Justice Dept. Investigates Arizona Sheriff for Enforcing Immigration Law

*How dare someone enforce a law!!*

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona following requests by congressional Democrats and allegations by liberal activists that the department has violated the civil rights of illegal aliens.

Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Robert Scott (D-Va.) requested the investigation, and activists groups such as National Day Laborer Organizer Network and ACORN launched petition drives and rallies in support of the probe.

The investigation focuses on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and dozens of officers under his command who were trained through the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), which partners federal and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws. (The Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division is known popularly as ICE.)

In a letter dated March 10, 2009, Loretta Smith, acting assistant attorney general at the DOJ, detailed what her department would be investigating:

“This is to inform you that the United States Department of Justice is commencing an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (”MCSO”) pursuant to the pattern or practice provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,42 U.S.C. §14141 (“Section 14141”) and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968,42 U.S.C. § 3789d (“Safe Streets Act”), and pursuant to the prohibitions against national origin discrimination in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d to 2000d-7 (“Title Yr’) and the Safe Streets Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3789d(c).”

The letter continues:  “The investigation will focus on alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures conducted by the MCSO, and on allegations of national origin discrimination, including failure to provide meaningful access to MCSO services for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals.”

“In conducting the investigation, we will seek to determine whether there are violations of the above laws by the MCSO,” the letter says.

Sheriff Arpaio’s efforts to enforce immigration laws have been the focus of previous criticism, but Arpaio has defended his department and the results his ICE-trained officers have netted.

Concerning the DOJ’s investigation, Arpaio told CNSNews.com:  “I will not back down. What I am doing is upholding the laws of the state of Arizona, and I will not be persuaded to turn my back on my oath of office as sheriff of this county.”

In an August 2008 press release, Arpaio’s office detailed those results.

“While the Sheriff’s illegal immigration and human smuggling operations conducted on the streets and roadways here have netted nearly 2,300 arrests, another very successful effort to locate illegal aliens has been quietly happening inside Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jails,” the release said.

It continues: “Despite the growing criticism of the Sheriff’s illegal immigration fight by some valley politicians and activists, Sheriff Arpaio says 60 detention officers trained by ICE officials have conducted over 106,000 interviews and investigations of inmates booked into jail since April of 2007.

“In those 18 months, 16,000 inmates were determined to be illegal aliens. Either they have already been deported or will be deported after being tried and/or serving their sentences for crimes committed in the valley. The work being done be Arpaio’s detention staff is a likely contributor to the recent reduction in crime in the valley,” the press release added.

“That number of 16,000 represents a full one-third (1/3) of all inmates in the United States who have had holds placed on them after being identified by jail or prison officials as illegal aliens.”

The press release goes on to say that 20 percent of inmates in the Maricopa County Jail are illegal aliens and that of those, 2,000 illegal aliens – 70 percent – were arrested for felony crimes.

Those felony crimes committed included the following: forgery, 12 percent; kidnapping, 10 percent; aggravated assault, 7 percent; driving under the influence, 7 percent; drug charges, 27 percent; robbery, 3 percent; murder, 3 percent; and theft, 4 percent.

The Democratic Congress members have also asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to launch an investigation into the training provided by ICE.



3 thoughts on “Justice Dept. Investigates Arizona Sheriff for Enforcing Immigration Law

  1. View Voyer says:

    I am wondering if Canada is seeing a vast influx of Americans
    coming across its borders seeking escape from hard times.
    Canada may have to strengthen its borders.
    Will it offer sanctuary for those politically persecuted?
    Rather than going into a FEMA camp,many may head for

  2. oifiiimp says:

    Members of Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability kick off a hunger strike on March 29. The date was picked to coincide with the week of celebrations for Cesar Chavez, the Mexican American civil rights activist who fought for fair labor conditions.
    Luis Avila, an organizer with MCSA, said the group has planned several activities to protest Sheriff Joe Arpaio that week, including vigils, news conferences and protests. He declined to give details on the events.
    The fast starts at 6 p.m. March 29 at Santa Rita Hall in downtown Phoenix, where Chavez fasted for 24 days in 1972.
    “We are going to bring attention to his abuses of power,” said Avila. “We have people coming from all over the country for the spiritual fast during the week.”
    For months, MCSA showed up at Board of Supervisors meetings to pressure it to put an end to Arpaio’s controversial immigration sweeps, to better monitor lawsuits related to his office, and to more closely examine his emergency response times and jurisdictional reach.

    posted by BringItOn on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    If these people spent as much time trying to become legal citizens as they do protesting Joe Arpaio, it would make life so much better for all of us.
    Illegal Immigrants: Work at becoming legal. Obey our laws. That is a great start.

    posted by broosewane on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:54 PM
    If it’s worth doing ,it’s worth doing right, 100 days minimum..

    posted by OIFIIIMP on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    Roger BRINGITON. My thoughts exactly.
    BTW, have you heard of any plans to call this protest “A Day Without Tortillas” ? 😉

    posted by Margaret9753 on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    The longer they keep it up, the better their chances of winning Darwin Awards.
    Joe has been investigated on this nonsense before and has come out just fine

    posted by Majority on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:33 PM
    Comprehensive Immigration Reform is coming…..
    Really, what like it did in 2006 and 2007 when the Demorats were incharge of Congress??? You are pretty funny…….
    I agree with steeldog95……………self-immolation would also get the attention of Phoenix Fire, with sirens going, all that goooooood stuff.

    posted by kathnee on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:30 PM
    That’s good. Some of them could stand to lose a lot of weight. Hope Mary Rose Wilcox participates.

    posted by steeldog95 on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:18 PM
    I heard self-immoliation is a great way to get your point across…

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