Sheriff Joe Loses Some of His Immigration Enforcement Powers
Looks like Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., has lost some of his authority to arrest people he suspects are illegal immigrants. Under the controversial 287(g) program of the immigration law, Arpaio was one of many local sheriffs who were empowered to enforce federal immigration laws. Comments he’s made to the Arizona Republic, however, suggest he may have lost some of that authority. The Department of Homeland Security has not confirmed or denied the report.
Even if the sheriff and his deputies can’t arrest anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant on the street, they can still check the immigration status of everyone in Maricopa County’s jails and turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. The Department of Justice is separately investigating Arpaio for allegedly abusing his authority by conducting unconstitutional searches and engaging in racial profiling.
DHS has promised to review all 287(g) agreements with individual counties, even as it has expanded the number of those agreements in effect.