DHS restricts Joe Arpaio 287g enforcement to jails; Arpaio pledges to continue sweeps
UPDATES AT END OF POST
On Friday, Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio signed a new agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that restricts his ability to perform immigration enforcement under the 287g program (link). Under the previous agreement, he could both check immigration status in county jails and also conduct street sweeps; the new agreement seeks to restrict him to the former. Jail screening caught 30,000 illegal aliens since February 2007, but the street sweeps only resulted in 264 detentions.
However, Arpaio said on a radio show that he intends to do street enforcement (blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2009/10/joe_arpaio_defiant_re_287g_and.php):
"I don't need the feds to do my crime suppression to opt to arrest illegals. I can do it without the federal authority, and I'm going to continue to do it. It makes no difference. It helps us. Because I don't have to do all the paperwork for the feds, number one. And number two, I won't be under their umbrella, their guidance. So I will operate the same way, nothing is going to change... Nothing changes," crowed Joe at one point, adding, "because pursuant to our duties in these crime suppression [sweeps] we arrest anybody that violates the law. If we find during the arrests that that there are illegals, we arrest them. Now the only difference [is] we're going to take 'em down to ICE. I hope they accept them, if they don't, I'll bring 'em myself to the border. So nothing really has changed. This is all politics. They want to use me to get rid of this 287 agreement across the country... I will do another crime suppression very soon to show Washington and everybody else I'm not changing, I will not be intimidated by Congress, by alleged racial profiling investigations by the Justice Department, by all these demonstrators, these politicians, all trying to keep me from doing my job, so nothing will change. Stay tuned."
UPDATE: Illegal immigration supporters will try anything, including trying to claim that Arpaio broke his current or the new agreement because he spoke out, and also pointing out that the other side hasn't signed the agreement yet (blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2009/10/
Other than Arpaio and a representative of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, no one else has signed the agreement. Thus, the new MOA [memorandum of agreement] remains in legal limbo. The space for the signature of top ICE honcho John Morton is blank, as are spaces for the Chairman and the Clerk of the county Board of Supervisors.
...County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox says she is reviewing the new MOA, and is waiting to talk to ICE head John Morton before making a commitment either way.
"All of those things weigh really heavy on my mind," said Wilcox of the civil rights abuses in Arpaio's gulags. "I wish ICE had just suspended the whole nine yards of it. But they didn't, so it's a dilemma, and I'm trying to sort it out."
UPDATE 2: The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors have agreed to sign the agreement, pending Morton's signature: azstarnet.com/news/312375.php