Friday, 09 October 2009

Homeland Security Curtails Sheriff's Powers

Written by  Steven J. DuBord

joearpaioThe Department of Homeland Security has revoked the special immigration enforcement contract it had under Federal Law 287g with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona.

An October 6 press release from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office reported that “the decision to curtail the Sheriff’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent status emanates from as high as the White House,” which is no surprise given President Obama’s support of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The move by Homeland Security ostensibly stems from complaints that sheriff’s deputies have engaged in racial profiling. But a 2008 audit of the law-enforcement operations supposedly fraught with racial bias found no violations.

“The 2008 audit … cites utterly no wrongdoing on behalf of the Sheriff’s deputies and even goes so far as to praise Arpaio and his office for their professionalism and adherence to all the 287G contract guidelines,” the sheriff’s office release stated. “The results of the 2008 audit identically mirror other audits conducted over the last few years by several different agencies, all of which found no wrong doing in Arpaio’s enforcement of the federal immigration program.”

That Arpaio’s deputies could conduct their operations so faultlessly despite the severity of the illegal immigration problem facing Arizona is a testament to Arpaio’s leadership. The Milwaukee Examiner for October 7 pointed out that Arizona is “home to the second highest kidnappings in the world,” and that Arizona state data for Maricopa County shows “more than 53 percent of violent crimes committed in the county are perpetrated by illegal aliens.”

Arpaio has found some support in Congress from Representatives Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas). In a joint statement, Franks and Smith have urged Homeland Security and the White House to reconsider their action against Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies.

“The key to combating illegal immigration is federal, state and local cooperation,” Smith and Franks said. “This is why we believe it is crucial for the federal government to continue to support individuals like Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the implementation of agreements under section 287g, which provides for the Department of Homeland Security to delegate authority to enforce federal immigration laws to state and local officials.”

Smith affirmed the success of federal cooperation with local agencies: “The fact is, [the] 287g program works. Thousands of illegal immigrants apprehended for other crimes are being identified and deported.”

Franks would like to see local officials like Arpaio get a “thank you” from the federal government, not harassment and vilification. “Maricopa County has seen an increase in crime, drug trafficking and other issues because of the immigration problem,” Franks explained. “It is reprehensible for DHS to bully law enforcement officials who have honorably served this nation and the state of Arizona by enforcing federal and state laws and who are continuing to work to protect the American people.”

And Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies are indeed protecting America, not only from illegal immigrants from Mexico, but also from illegals who are not Mexican and who could be terrorists. As recently as September 23, a Sheriff’s office release pointed out that four illegals from Communist China had been apprehended.

Speaking through an interpreter, the Chinese suspects said they were from the province of Fu Jian and had begun their journey by boarding a plane in Beijing. Cuban currency was found in their possession, indicating the international scope of the problem. “If people are being smuggled into the United States illegally from a communist country like China through Mexico, who knows where else they could be coming from?” Arpaio said.

It is infuriating that the federal government under the Bush administration so eagerly used 9/11 as an excuse to crack down on American citizens, virtually strip-searching them at airports and illegally monitoring their electronic communications without warrants. Now, eight years later, the withdrawal of support from Sheriff Arpaio sadly proves that this same government under the Obama administration is willing to leave our borders open and invite another 9/11 to occur rather than enforce the immigration laws that would protect America.

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Photo: AP Images