Arpaio uses ICE manual to back enforcement tactics
By JJ Hensley
The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), October 23, 2009
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio unveiled a new justification Thursday to support his deputies' immigration-enforcement tactics in the absence of a street-level agreement with the federal government.
Arpaio tore a page from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement manual that was used to train local law-enforcement agencies participating in the 287(g) program and declared that his deputies would abide by those rules.
ICE removed the authority earlier this month for Arpaio's deputies to participate in the street-level enforcement program and limited that authority to immigration screenings in the jails. But that has mattered little to the sheriff.
'Our people are well-trained,' Arpaio said of the deputies who turned in ICE badges in a symbolic gesture. 'One thing you can't do with our deputies is take that training and erase it from their mind.'
The deputies had each completed a five-week course in immigration law to gain the certification to act as ICE agents.
Arpaio's decision to reference the ICE protocol came a week after the sheriff took criticism for citing a section of U.S. criminal code that doesn't exist in an attempt to show legal support for a deputies' authority to detain and question suspected illegal immigrants who aren't suspected of violating state laws.
The policy states that federal agents and law enforcement authorized to perform immigration duties have the authority to interrogate suspected illegal immigrants based on a series of identifiable facts including language, appearance and demeanor.
Arpaio's deputies no longer have that authorization. An ICE spokesman released a statement Thursday that indicated the training manual the sheriff cited is outdated.
'The materials in the workbook referenced by the sheriff are from 2005 and thus do not reflect the current priorities or guidelines of the updated (memoranda of agreement). New training materials will be circulated to participating jurisdictions in accordance with the revised MOA,' the statement read.
Sheriff's officials said the factors Arpaio previously cited, which are repeated in the ICE training manual, are indicators deputies look for only after they've contacted someone suspected of some sort of violation.
The Department of Homeland Security early this year ordered a review of all 287(g) agreements. Agencies were presented with new agreements in July and given until Oct. 15 to sign the contracts that included a renewed focus on criminal illegal migrants for street-level enforcement.
The Sheriff's Office had operated under a contract that gave deputies on the street and jail detention officers the authority to act as immigration agents, but ICE officials stripped Arpaio of the street-level authority under the new agreement, leading observers to believe it would hinder a deputy's ability to question and detain a suspected illegal immigrant who hadn't committed another crime.
During a crime-suppression operation in Peoria last weekend, deputies detained immigrants who hadn't committed a criminal violation until ICE picked them up for processing.
The sheriff said the policy torn from the ICE manual would adequately cover his deputies' practices, though he said they don't need any extra legal help. He has requested a legal opinion from County Attorney Andrew Thomas to further clarify the issue, and that opinion is pending.
Annie Lai, an attorney with the Arizona American Civil Liberties Union, which has named Arpaio in two separate lawsuits alleging racial profiling, said the ICE agreement shouldn't apply to sheriff's deputies on the street anymore and was curious about Arpaio's desire to share this enforcement policy.
'It seems like he's sending this message out to send it to the public for political reasons,' she said.
Sheriff Arpaio's Office Is Only Law Enforcement Agency in U.S. Denied Authority to Enforce Immigration Laws, Says DHS
By Penny Starr
The CNS News, October 23, 2009