ICE replaces Arpaio officers to screen Arizona jail inmates
Immigration officials will no longer use controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s officers to screen detainees in Maricopa County prisons, the agency said Monday in a letter to U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona.
The decision follows the agency’s decision to revoke Arpaio’s authority to access its immigration database, and comes in the wake of a Justice Department investigation that concluded that his office engaged in a pattern and practice of civil rights violations and discrimination against Latinos.
The self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” is also under fire for his failure to investigate over 400 cases of sexual and child abuse, as well as having been found by the courts to run his jails in a way that violates Constitutional protections.
Now, the Homeland Security Department will use itsr own 50 immigration agents to screen jail inmates in Arizona’s most populous county after it revoked Arpaio’s authority to access its systems, the agency said Monday in a letter to Kyl.
The letter from Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Nelson Peacock and obtained by The Associated Press said that the 50 dedicated agents will “screen, identify, apprehend and remove criminal aliens” found in Maricopa County jails.
The agents will replace county officers who had special training and the authority to perform the task in Arpaio’s lockups. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano revoked that authority last week after a Justice Department investigation concluded that Arpaio’s office engaged in a pattern and practice of civil rights and constitutional violations and discriminated against Latino inmates in its jails.
The federal government’s intervention comes on the heels of a plethora of problems for Arpaio, who is now is under fire again because of the critical condition of a man who became unresponsive while in the custody last week of his deputies.