DHS Prohibits Border Sheriff from Enforcing Immigration Laws

Posted: Oct 07, 2009 1:05 PM
USA Today is reporting on a story out of Arizona that local Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, has been stripped of his authority to conduct "crime suppression operations"--arresting suspected illegal immigrants "based solely on their immigration status."  The decision comes down from the US Department of Homeland Security:

Arpaio will still have the power to check the immigration status of people booked by his officers, but not the authority to conduct street patrols looking for illegal immigrants.

His “crime suppression operations” are saturation patrols in designated areas where deputies would find illegal immigrants by stopping them for traffic infractions and minor violations...

The department of Justice and other federal agencies are investigating the sheriff’s office on accusations of racial profiling during the operations [according to local news sources].

Arpaio said he will be able to still conduct the crime sweeps under state human smuggling laws and an obscure federal law that allows local police to arrest illegal immigrants.

A spokesman for the Phoenix office of ICE declined to comment until after pending agreements with the country are signed.

"It's all politics," the Sheriff said.  He has vowed to continue his operations to bust illegal immigrants in his community, despite Homeland Security's decision.

Isn't Sheriff Arpaio just trying to keep the homeland safe?  Maybe Homeland Security could learn a thing or two from him...