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Sheriff Joe Arpaio Recalls The Way He Handles Immigration Enforcement

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Phoenix, AZ (KPHO) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has said for years he won’t stop enforcing federal immigration law, but late Tuesday evening, in a pre-recorded statement, the self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff” had a different tune.

“One hundred of my deputies were authorized and trained by the federal government, ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), to enforce federal immigration law,” he said. “Now, a federal court has ruled that federal training was unconstitutional, and it led to racial profiling. We will appeal this ruling.

“You know, as sheriff I uphold the law. The court’s order is clear. We will no longer detain persons believed to be in the country without authorization whom we cannot arrest on state charges. I have already instructed my deputies.”

The statement comes in light of a decision by a federal judge on charges of racial profiling by his office. The wording in the 142-page document from Judge Wake Snow to Arpaio is ammunition for immigration attorney Ray Ibarra.

“He puts him in place and says, ‘You can’t use the employer sanction law. You can’t use the human smuggling law. You can’t use what we now call SB 1070.’ He plain and simple says, ‘Get out of the immigration business.’ I hope Sheriff Arpaio listened to that,” Ibarra said.

Thousands of illegal immigrants were arrested and detained in raids conducted by the sheriff’s office during a three-year period.

“I’m definitely going to use it in the criminal context to try to get people, their cases, dismissed,” Ibarra said.

Ibarra is referring to the cease-and-desist decision by Snow. He said he’ll use it in those pending immigration cases where immigrants were detained at raids or at traffic stops by the sheriff’s office.

“I can tell the judge, his initial stop was against the constitution, and as Snow said it was prompted by racial profiling, his immigration case should be thrown out. He should be allowed to stay in the country,” Ibarra said.

At this time, it is unknown how many of those arrested by the sheriff will be able to use the decision in their favor.

By Karla Navarrete

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