What a switch. It used to be that the Sheriff of Maricopa County was Joe Arpaio, who would do his valiant best to enforce immigration law, resulting in Washington using strong-arm tactics in an attempt to force him to cease and desist so that Phoenix and the surrounding area could be overrun by illegal aliens. Then came elections. Now the poles have reversed:
Maricopa County jails will no longer detain people flagged by federal authorities as a courtesy for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sheriff Paul Penzone said Friday evening.
Here’s how it used to work:
After an individual is booked into a Maricopa County jail, the person receives a screening from ICE to determine whether he or she might be in the country illegally. If ICE flagged the individual, the Maricopa County jails would hold the individual for the federal government for up to 48 hours after the time the person otherwise would have been released.
If ICE finds an individual is in the country illegally, the process can initiate deportation proceedings.
Penzone said ICE agents will receive a notification when the individual is to be let out of jail, but the detainee will no longer be held more than a legal citizen would be kept.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will not facilitate the transfer to ICE, Penzone said. He could not offer clarification on how ICE agents would collect those the agency deemed fit for deportation.
Penzone claims he had to take this new stance due to “threat of litigation.” However,
he was unable to cite a specific lawsuit and referred questions to the County Attorney’s Office.
It appears that Penzone, a Democrat, does not have his heart in the task of enforcing immigration law or even cooperating with those who enforce it. In Arizona, that disqualifies him from his job.
Voters presumably got tired of Sheriff Joe’s showboating and high-handedness after his 24 years in office. But after only a few weeks of Penzone, it would be nice to have him back.
On a tip from Bodhisattva.