press release December 22, 2011
Due to, “New Orders” According to ICE Officials Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Human Smuggling Unit Arrests 12 More Illegal Aliens
(Maricopa County, AZ) Wednesday night, December 21, 2011 Sheriff Arpaio’s Human Smuggling Unit took 12 illegal aliens into custody involved in human smuggling in northern Maricopa County along Interstate 17.
Pursuant with longstanding standard practice, deputies contacted ICE to pick up six illegal immigrants that could not be charged with felonies under Arizona’s human smuggling laws. Unlike the last the last six years, Wednesday night deputies were told by ICE officials that according to a “new order from Department of Homeland Security,” ICE would not pick up these illegal immigrants. ICE officials were directly asked by Sheriff’s deputies if this new policy only applies to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. ICE officials replied, “Yes.”
Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies then contacted Casa Grande Border Patrol for policy acceptance of these illegal immigrants. Sheriff’s deputies explained the refusal by ICE. The Border Patrol agreed to accept the illegal immigrants.
“They are trying to get this Sheriff completely out of the immigration enforcement business. Not accepting these illegal aliens is nothing short of unannounced amnesty,” asserts Arpaio.
“Since 2006 the federal government has accepted custody of nearly 1,000 illegal aliens from my office as a result of over 2,500 felony arrests for human smuggling,” emphasized Sheriff Arpaio.
The Department of Justice has shown a pattern and practice of doing everything possible to halt the enforcement of state illegal immigration laws. This is evidenced by this last week’s recent civil rights press conference, revocation of Arpaio’s 287G immigration certification in the jails and now this action.
After thorough interviews were conducted with those arrested, it was determined that the illegal aliens had paid amounts ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each to be smuggled into the United States. The illegal aliens informed Sheriff’s deputies they were heading to New York, Florida and Texas. The most recent actions by ICE threaten an explosion in human smuggling once the smuggling organizations learn about the new ICE policy.