I usually lurk and read (occasionally comment). But we are at a seminal moment in immigration reform, and I didn't see any diaries here about today's important development on 287g.
287g is the program that allows local law enforcement agencies to act as ICE agents -- investigating and detaining people suspected of living or working in the country without authorization. Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio is the "poster boy" for this program. He's the guy that you hear about who has "neighborhood sweeps" and has been accused of arresting people for cracked windshields and then hauled them in on immigration violations. More than 500 advocacy groups asked last month for the entire program to be terminated. Arpaio is always used as the example for why the program is no good.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced Monday evening that ICE stripped away his 287g authorization to investigate and detain people he suspects are living/working in the U.S. without authorization... But wait, there's more...
- dawnt's diary :: ::
Arpaio is currently under investigation by the Dept of Justice for civil rights violations, and by the Dept of Labor for labor violations. He is being sued by a number of individuals, organizations, and fellow local officials. The mayors of two cities in Maricopa County have called him out for what they allege is racial profiling.
NOTE: If Arpaio's name sounds familiar, it's because he's in the news constantly... The county even pays for his international PR firm. Still not sure who he is? Just think "tent city jails," pink underwear, striped uniforms, chain gains, pink flip-flops, and green bologna. Also, after you read what I posted here, if you want more info, you can read my Huffington Post article here.
Under what's left of Arpaio's 287g agreement with ICE, Arpaio will still be able to screen inmates already in his jails, but he will no longer be able to detain people for suspicion of being/working in the U.S. without authorization under the agreement.
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.
So, whether or not he has authority under 287g, Arpaio says he is still going to continue doing what he was doing. He also says:
Nothing changes 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.
He was on a local radio show last night (Sunday) saying not only will nothing change, but he intends to conduct immigration raids "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."