Sheriff Joe Arpaio Launches More Sweeps for Illegal Aliens

Good for him.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is announcing that his operation in Phoenix will take place this afternoon following a four-hour delay for deputies to deal with protesters in downtown Phoenix.

Deputies have arrested four people in the operation – three on outstanding warrants and one for being a prohibited possesser of a firearm.

“We’ll be here all night,” Arpaio said, adding that the protesters downtown would not deter the operation.

In total, 23 people were arrested for blocking a public thoroughfare, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. Among those arrested was Salvador Reza, the leader of Puente, a pro-immigrant-rights group.

Arpaio has said frequently that he doesn’t need the law, which created a misdemeanor offense in Arizona for immigrants who fail to carry registration documents, and his track record backs him up.

Thursday’s operation would mark the 17th time Arpaio has deployed hundreds of deputies and volunteer posse members in an area of the Valley to root out illegal immigrants. Deputies typically take a “zero tolerance” approach to traffic offenses and then check the criminal history of the motorists. Some of Arpaio’s deputies who were trained to enforce federal immigration law used to be able to conduct roadside immigration screenings, but the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement stripped deputies of that authority last year, forcing sheriff’s deputies to wait until they bring suspects to jail to determine immigration status.

If the deputies come across residents who admit to being in the country illegally but who have not committed a state crime, the deputies typically coordinate with local ICE officials to transfer custody of those suspects.

A key piece of the law that Bolton blocked on Wednesday would have allowed deputies to arrest some of those suspects for violating the new law if they weren’t carrying registration documents.

“That would have been a nice little extra twist if we could have locked them up instead of handing them over to ICE,” Arpaio said Wednesday after Bolton’s ruling.

The size and scope of the sweeps have varied since Arpaio launched the efforts in 2008 near 32nd Street and Thomas Road.

A three-day sweep in Mesa last summer paid 83 deputies and supervisors to arrest 59 people at a cost of $38,387. A two-day operation in Fountain Hills in May 2008 used 13 deputies, cost $3,947 and resulted in 20 arrests.


Lost in the hoopla over Arizona’s immigration law is the fact that state and local authorities for years have been doing their own aggressive crackdowns in the busiest illegal gateway into the country.

Nowhere in the U.S. is local enforcement more present than in metropolitan Phoenix, where Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio routinely carries out sweeps, some in Hispanic neighborhoods, to arrest illegal immigrants. The tactics have made him the undisputed poster boy for local immigration enforcement and the anger that so many authorities feel about the issue.

“It’s my job,” said Arpaio, standing beside a sheriff’s truck that has a number for an immigration hot line written on its side. “I have two state (immigration) laws that I am enforcing. It’s not federal, it’s state.”

A ruling Wednesday by a federal judge put on hold parts of the new law that would have required officers to dig deeper into the fight against illegal immigration. Arizona says it was forced to act because the federal government isn’t doing its job to fight immigration.

……In addition to Arpaio’s crackdowns, other efforts include a steady stream of busts by the state and local police of stash houses where smugglers hide illegal immigrants. The state attorney general has taken a money-wiring company to civil court on allegations that smugglers used their service to move money to Mexico. And a county south of Phoenix has its sheriff’s deputies patrol dangerous smuggling corridors.

Sheriff Arpaio is undeterred by the arrogance of Obama’s ass-kissing policies toward radical illegal alien groups. Georgia, Colorado, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Arkansas, and Tennessee, have all enacted legislation designed to crack down on illegal aliens and the employers who hire them. 

Since the federal government is always slow to do the job it’s  required to do, it’s up to the states to pick up the slack. Kudos to people like Sheriff Arpaio.

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