Sheriff Joe Arpaio: I’m Not Going to Stop Arresting Illegals

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio tells Newsmax he has no intention of bowing to pressure from Washington to stop rounding up illegal aliens, because they are “criminals once they cross the border.”

“I’m not going to stop. I’m just doing my job,” said Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County which includes the city of Phoenix.

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The Department of Homeland Security has removed the authority of Arpaio’s 160 federally trained deputies to make immigration arrests in the field.

.TV’s Ashley Martella noted that Section 287-G of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows state and local law enforcement personnel to detain and arrest illegal aliens on civil and criminal grounds, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has removed Arpaio’s department from that program. Martella asked the sheriff why he has been singled out.

“Politics,” Arpaio declared.

“We’ve arrested and detained over 33,000 illegal aliens, 25 percent of the whole country under that agreement. Evidently Washington doesn’t like our success. Maybe we’re too successful. So they wiped out my street enforcement authority under that agreement.”

Homeland Security, and therefore ICE, is now headed by Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona. Citing allegations that Arpaio and Napolitano clashed when she was governor, Martella asked if there could be “some personal retribution involved here?”

“Not really, because I’ve worked with her for 17 years. I don’t report to governors, I report to the people,” said Arpaio.

“We did have a good relationship until the last year she was governor. She didn’t like some ways I enforced the illegal immigration laws and took back about $1.6 million that the legislature gave me directly.

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“She has her mission. She works for the president. She has to report to the White House, take orders from the White House. So let’s share that situation with Obama too and not just blame her.”

Asked if he intends to continue to round up illegal aliens despite the Obama administration’s actions, Arpaio responded:

“The authority ran out midnight Thursday. Friday I went into another crime suppression operation. We did the same thing we were doing under that 287-G agreement. Nothing has changed. We arrested 66 people. Out of 66 were 30 illegal aliens that we arrested as suspected traffickers in humans. We also raided a carwash.

“We did call ICE, and out of the 30 they did accept the 19 that we [could not file] state charges against. If we had state charges, we’d book them into the jail…

“Now the big key is, will they continue to accept the illegal aliens when we don’t have a state charge [but] know that they are illegal? Will they start turning them down? Then we’ve got a big problem. I have to put these guys back on the street.

“Now my other idea is, if they turn them down locally, I’ll bring them to the Border Patrol. If they turn them down, because the Border Patrol comes under Napolitano also, then I’ve got a big problem. What will I do with them?”

Arpaio also told Newsmax: “We’re going to try to get a trespassing law passed where we will be able to pick up these [illegals] under state law.”

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Arpaio said that since he began rounding up illegal aliens, “we’ve put 1,600 Class 4 felons in jail and they can’t get out. And we do employer sanctions. We go into businesses. We’ve done 23 businesses and about two-thirds of the people employed have phony identification.

“If we come across those that are just here illegally but they are criminals once they cross the border what do you do with them? We work with ICE. We turn them over…

“Napolitano and the White House don’t want us to arrest people here just because they’re here. That they don’t like. They use the theory we only go after the murderers, the violent criminals. They don’t want to arrest those that are here illegally on the streets or in workplaces or anywhere else. That’s a shame. They are criminals.”

Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department is investigating the sheriff for possible racial profiling. Martella asked Arpaio if his department is in fact involved in profiling.

“No we are not. This is all politics,” said the sheriff, who has been re-elected four times.

“Sixty days under the new administration, they launched an investigation with lawyers against me and my employees on alleged racial profiling, admitting that they read about it in the media. That was their evidence.

“Sixty days. I spent 25 years with the Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, as a high law enforcement official. It takes them two years to open up a letter. Why did it take only 60 days? And after 100 days they bragged about [going] after me, so you can see this is all politics.”

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As for the Hispanic groups that have been protesting Arpaio’s roundup of illegal aliens, he said: “They’re out there every day. They’ll be out there today with their big signs calling me Nazi, Hitler. They’ve been doing this for over a year in front of my building.

“But it doesn’t bother me. It’s First Amendment. Let them do whatever they want.”

He added: “It’s kind of nasty when you have little kids holding signs. You got these kids involved, going after me, and I happen to wear a uniform and am a law enforcement guy. So if you don’t like me, don’t use the kids and teach them that law enforcement are bad people. It’s a shame how low they stoop to get me to stop doing my job.”

Martella asked: “You’re not about to do that, are you, sir?”

Arpaio answered: “No. You think I’m going to stop because someone from Washington doesn’t like what I’m doing?ng to stop. I’m just doing my job,” said Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County which includes the city of Phoenix.

The Department of Homeland Security has removed the authority of Arpaio’s 160 federally trained deputies to make immigration arrests in the field.

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