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Arizona deported thousands without new law

By SUZANNE GAMBOA
July 28, 2010

(AP)

Without the benefit of their state’s strict new immigration law, officers from a single Arizona county helped deport more than 26,000 immigrants from the U.S. through a federal-local partnership program that has been roundly criticized as fraught with problems.

Statistics obtained by The Associated Press show that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was responsible for deportations or forced departure of 26,146 immigrants since 2007.

That’s about a quarter of the national total of 115,841 sent out of the U.S. by officers in 64 law enforcement agencies deputized to help enforce immigration laws, some since 2006, under the so-called 287(g) program.

The tens of thousands of immigrant arrests show local officials already have a significant amount of authority to enforce immigration laws and help remove illegal immigrants from the country.

But with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio the top law officer among all those deputized, questions remain about what’s in store when Arizona gives more officers the power to enforce immigration laws. The federal government already is under fire for doing a poor job of keeping watch on local officers enforcing immigration laws and ensuring safeguards for protecting civil rights are in place.

Arpaio is under federal investigation on allegations of civil rights allegations, which he denies.

If Arizona’s new law takes effect Thursday, many more of the state’s officers will be asking people to prove they are legally in the U.S. The state law requires officers to ask for a driver’s license, passport or other identity document if they reasonably suspect a person is not allowed to be in the U.S. They must do so while enforcing other laws or ordinances.

The federal government is trying to block the Arizona law, arguing it usurps its authority. The Justice Department said in its suit challenging the law that the 287(g) federal-local partnerships are one way Congress allowed states to assist in enforcing immigration laws.

“At the pragmatic level, if local police are already allowed to do this and are allowed to do this with federal cooperation with the state, then why do they need the (new Arizona) law?” said Muzaffar Chishti, director of the New York office of the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration think tank.

There are several other ways local officials can assist, including Secure Communities, a more widely used program that allows local officials to check the fingerprints of anyone they book into their jails against FBI and Homeland Security Department databases.

But the 287(g) program gives officers the most direct authority to stop people on the street, in their cars or in their communities and check whether they are in the country illegally. Federal watchdogs have been critical of the job the Homeland Security Department has been doing in running the program.

The department’s inspector general reported in March that the 287(g) program was poorly supervised and provided insufficient training to officers, including on civil rights law.

Local officers have operated outside their agreements dictating the limits of their authority, the report said. In all, the inspector general made 33 recommendations for overhauling the program, some of which have not yet been resolved. It was the second critical report for the program. The Government Accountability Office had criticized the program in July 2009.

Complaints about Arpaio’s immigration enforcement tactics led the federal government last October to yank his authority to enforce immigration laws during patrols. That month, the Obama administration rewrote all agreements with local partners in attempt to address complaints of racial profiling and civil rights violations.

Even so, the federal government continues to allow the sheriff and deputies to check their jails for deportable inmates.

Arpaio has denied the allegations and says he is a target because of his tough immigration enforcement. His office has continued to do immigration sweeps. Arpaio said he is enforcing state anti-smuggling and anti-illegal immigrant hiring laws.

Arpaio said about 100 of his deputies were trained over five weeks to act as federal agents under the 287(g) program. They were trained on racial profiling and other civil rights laws, he said.

The new Arizona law is needed for several reasons, including that “no police official or elected official can tell the police officer that you cannot enforce immigration laws,” Arpaio said. The Arizona law prohibits state and local government officials from preventing enforcement of immigration laws.

The federal government does not pay for local officers to participate in the 287(g) program. U.S. taxpayers pay the federal cost, which has grown from $5 million in 2006 to $68 million in 2010, according to the DHS inspector general. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reimburses some of the local agencies for housing immigrants in their jails. The immigrants can be in the country illegally or legally present but have committed a crime that makes them eligible for deportation.

Joanne Lin, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said it is alarming that one Arizona county is responsible for a disproportionate share of deportations.

The Los Angeles County’s Sheriff’s Office, a distant second to Maricopa, helped find 13,784 immigrants who were later deported or left the country. The Sheriff’s Office’s agreement with the federal government allows it to check its jails for deportable immigrants, but not to enforce immigration laws during street patrols. A renewal of the agreement is under negotiation.

An estimated 10.8 million people, about 26 percent of the state’s population, are living illegally in California, compared with 460,000, about 12 percent, in Arizona.

“These statistics bear out that you have rogue sheriffs in certain counties that are bent on targeting immigrants,” Lin said.

___

Online:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 287(g): http://www.ice.gov/pi/news/factsheets/section287_g.htm

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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21 Responses to Arizona deported thousands without new law

  1. Almandine

    July 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Rogue sheriffs bent on targeting [illegal] immigrants…

    • jim0001

      July 28, 2010 at 11:09 am

      Rogue? I would say commendable is a better description. He is only “rogue” in the political world because he is enforcing the law and honoring the oath he took! What part of illegal do you not comprehend? Immigrants are here legally, being deported are illegal aliens. Sheriff Arpaio is doing the sworn duty that the citizens of Maricopa County, AZ. elected him to do. He is keeping his promises, that is what most do not understand, honesty in an elected official. Sheriff “Joe’ runs probably the most cost effective jails in the United States. Prisioners are in his jail for punishment not ambience. If you take time to read the AZ. bill you will find that it closely mirrors existing federal statutes that the current administration under Barack Hussein Obama chooses to circumvent and not enforce. Arizona ranchers have been murdered on their own land, had property ruined and stolen. These are American citizens whom our federal government chooses not to protect. Al-Qieda operatives have been caught crossing both our Northern and Southern borders. The aliens are being raped, robbed and murdered by the human trafficers. Senor Calderon chooses not to protect his people. He would rather come here and get a standing ovation from the liberals in a joint session of Congress for attacking a soveriegn state and proposing tha Mexico’s problems are caused by lawful Mom and Pop gun stores in the US. As far as I know you don’t buy an RPG from them. Wake up we are being invaded. Applaud Sheriff “Joe” and do not comdem him!

      • griff

        July 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

        I believe Almandine was being sarcastic.

        • Almandine

          July 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm

          Reckon?

          • woody188

            July 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

            LOL, Arpaio is awesome. He’s the one that re-instated prison labor camps a few years back. I think he also took away the cable TV and gym equipment if I remember correctly. We could use more like him.

          • Almandine

            July 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm

            So, Woody, you think Arpaio is a rogue?

          • woody188

            July 28, 2010 at 10:43 pm

            @Almandine: To the ones that refuse to enforce our laws, yes he is a rogue. But he has become a folk hero to the masses.

  2. Siannan

    July 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Tell that to the Arizona truck driver who happened to be of latino heritage, who was pulled over, provided his driver’s license and social security number and told that wasn’t good enough. He was handcuffed and left to cool his heels until his wife brought his birth certificate which proved he was born in the United States.

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/04/26/racial-profiling-arizona/

    Sheriff Joe is an ass who needs to take more care about who he is pulling over. The gentleman above is a perfect example. A US citizen who was forced to spend time in handcuffs because his “driver’s license and social security card” were insufficient proof that he was legally in this country. Even though new driver’s license regs indicate you must provide a valid birth certificate.

  3. woody188

    July 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    10.8 million people, about 26 percent of the state’s population, are living illegally in California

    Ouch! I’d stop paying taxes at this point. What’s the point of paying taxes when most of it would be eaten up by this illegal population in free school, free health care, food stamps, and law enforcement?

    According to FAIR, my state (Ohio) has about 75,000 illegals or just over 1/2 of 1 percent of our population of 11.5 million.

  4. jim0001

    July 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Bolton (a “Slick Willie” apointee) just ruled against Arizona.
    Un-American judges are killing the country.

    • woody188

      July 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      Send all the illegals to his house for a weenie roast. See if he changes his mind.

      • jim0001

        July 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm

        Good idea except SHE doesn’t have a weenie. I agree and let all the prision reform gang and terrorist lovers take one home too, do a group hug and sing “Kumbya”. Sucession is looking better all the time.

  5. Gaurdhouse Lawyer

    July 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    “An estimated 10.8 million people, about 26 percent of the state’s population, are living illegally in California, compared with 460,000, about 12 percent, in Arizona.”

    How the hell can any of you believe that statistic?

    It is so far from reality that each and every one of you should have perked up your ears and said, “WHAT?”

    The reality is:

    According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics (DHS), an estimated 2,600,000 illegal immigrants resided in California in 2009, compared to 1.5 million in 1990 and 2.5 million in 2000. This number represents about 25 percent of the entire estimated illegal immigrant population in the United States (10.8 million in 2009).

    I know the answer to my question: You believe it because you want to believe it and your knees jerk in response and you salivate into your bibs because the so-completely-unbelievable snippet fits right into your mindset.

    1. You should be ashamed of yourselves for your willingness to be dittoheads.

    2. You should question everything the author said because if this is wrong can you trust anything else?

    • Almandine

      July 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      Cal has about 10.8 million people… 2.6 million of those folks – errr, about 26% of the total population being illegal. So, the point is… 26% illegals, even though a hasty post makes it sound like the entire 10.8 are illegal. Think about it…

      26% of Californians are illegal (govt stats). 26% !!!

      Is THAT a believable statistic ???

      • Almandine

        July 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm

        clarification…

        that was 26% of all illegals (in US) live in cal (if the 11M total figure is accurate)… about 8% of Cal’s population… consuming about $10B in services annually above what they contribute. Cal is bankrupt.

        That’s the problem.

      • woody188

        July 30, 2010 at 12:59 am

        Numbers are wrong. California has nearly 40 million people. (Estimated nearly 37,172,015 in 2006. 2,930,000 were estimated illegal in 2006, or nearly 8%. (0.0788) Of course both numbers have decreased in the last few years with the mass exodus out of California.

        Good catch Guardhouse concerning the numbers, but you should direct your scolding towards the AP and Suzanne Gamoa where they belong instead of trolling.

        In fact, upon further review, those 26,146 that were deported were out of some 34,921 found in prisons and held for ICE and those statistics are from a 2008 DHS review where Arpaio and his deputies were praised for their adherence to the 287(g) program.

        So the real question is, why is the AP regurgitating old news and twisting it to make Arpaio and Arizona look bad during a critical Federal trial concerning their immigration laws?

        Why are we the only ones seeing the error?

        Do you think Gamboa might be a little biased, perhaps enough to inflate the numbers and make it look worse than it is?

        Read most of the headlines she has credited to her since 2009. Most are pro-illegal immigration, pro-VISA, and pro-DHS/Federal immigration enforcement. Weird how that works out.

        • Almandine

          July 30, 2010 at 8:23 am

          Can you say Journolist?

          • Guardhouse Lawyer

            July 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

            Not when it is spelled like that.

      • Guardhouse Lawyer

        July 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm

        Ya know, Al, the difference between thee and me appears to be that I think before typing.

        No, again you are incorrect. You are not doing due diligence. It is nowhere near a believable statistic.

        California population is about 40 million. Not 10.8. Good God, there are more than 15 million in LA alone.

  6. AustinRanter - AKA Gregg

    July 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Terrorists can come over into Texas on tour buses (well, they could easily walk across the Rio) and our Gov and legislators won’t say a thing. They don’t want to piss off any potential voters.

    The Fed Gov’s propaganda that we are in the middle east to keep the terrorists from bring their war here is…. What the hell? They are already here. There are probably untold number of terrorist cells across the country. If 12 million Mexicans have come across the border…DUH!

    With the Trillion spent for both the Iraq and Alfghanistan wars…we could have built a security system around the US that would keep God out (figuratively speaking of course).

  7. Bill

    July 30, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Today illegals, tomorrow intelligentsia, the day after, illiterates (THAT should wipe out the T-Party and depose this nutcase Sheriff), then immorals (bye-bye Vegas and Atlantic City) including hookers, cookers and bad lookers, then those of lower IQ (bye bye balance of T-Party), then Gypsies, then Blacks, then Jews, then bye-bye…