Preliminary reports indicate Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have chosen not to renew their federal immigration arrest authority agreement (287(g) with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpiao indicated he will no longer be able to complete his "suppression sweeps" however he continues to maintain his authority over the jails. Apraio said of the changes, "this (ICE agreement) just includes the jail, and deep down, I feel that I ought to take it and rip it all up," Arpaio said. Federal officials also refused to comment further.
Under the new agreement deputies and detention officers could continue screening individuals once they are booked into the Maricopa County jail, but federal authorities had not offered to allow Arpaio's street-level "suppression sweeps" to continue. The Racial Profiling Sheriff said in a radio interview last night: "They (ICE) just don't want me, I'm the poster boy," snarled Arpaio. "I say, `they,' that's the Obama administration, the White House, certain members of congress, certain politicians here, [DHS honcho Janet] Napolitano, don't want me enforcing the 287 federal immigration laws on the streets. So they came down here last week. I shocked them by signing both parts of that agreement, on the streets and in the jails. They sent their top guy down the next day -- he took away my street operations and stuck us with the jails."
Without an agreement that authorizes immigration "suppression sweeps" screenings on the street, deputies will need probable cause to detain a suspected illegal immigrant until federal agents can determine the suspect's immigration status.
"He's not going to be able to arrest people for those kind of routine civil-immigration violations," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Arizona. The news was met with cautious optimism at the ACLU, which is working with plaintiffs in two lawsuits that accuse Arpaio's deputies of racial profiling in the normal course of their duties and in the "crime-suppression operations" the Sheriff's Office has conducted during the past 18 months.
A Republic analysis of arrest records from 10 of the sheriff's crime-suppression operations showed that MORE THAN HALF of the illegal immigrants arrested during the sweeps were held on federal immigration violations and hadn't committed another crime. During a crime-suppression operation in Chandler this summer, ICE agents told sheriff's deputies that they could not arrest suspected illegal immigrants who met that criteria and instead had to free them after giving them a "notice to appear" at ICE for processing.
Sheriff Arpaio may lose some immigration authority
arpaio defiant on 287(g)