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AZ Sheriff says new policy leading to 'roadside amnesty'


Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said this week that the Obama Administration's termination of the county's 287(g) agreement combined with its new policy to grant amnesty to illegal aliens who meet certain criteria is resulting in what he calls a "roadside amnesty" in his county. Under the new conditions, county officers can no longer apprehend illegal aliens they lawfully come in contact with, but instead must call Immigration and Customs Enforcement and ask if the agency wants to take action.

Under the former 287(g) agreements, officers in Pinal County who had been trained by the federal government to act as federal immigration officers had the authority to detain detected illegal aliens. But after the Supreme Court upheld the key provision to Arizona's immigration-enforcement law that allows police officers to check the immigration status of individuals they've stopped, arrested, or detained if they have reasonable suspicion the individual is in the country illegally, the Obama Administration terminated all 287(g) agreements in the state, saying they were no longer necessary with the new law.

Last month, Pres. Obama announced a new DHS directive that would allow illegal aliens under the age of 31 who had been in the country for at least 5 years, were brought here by their parents, and are attending school are have served in the military to receive deferred action and a work permit.

According to a report on TriValleyCentral.com, a Pinal County Sheriff Officer pulled over an individual who was driving 50 miles over the posted speed limit. After telling the deputy that he was born in Mexico and his parents were in the United States illegally, the deputy called ICE. But ICE said they were not interested in the case because the individual had been in the country for a long time and had committed no felonies. 

Sheriff Babeu says there was no verification that the individual had been in the country for a long period of time. The deputy was cited for two misdemeanors and was released.

"People who have been here (in America) for a week are going to say that," Sheriff Babeu said. "There's no criteria, and who enforces it? It’s not us, it's ICE. This 17-year-old could have told us anything … I don't know what illegal immigrant would ever say the true time period that they're here. If you've been here two years, why wouldn't you say you've been here five years, knowing there is no check?"

"All this does is continue to kick the can down the field of giving partial amnesty to certain groups of people," he said. "In the absence of any decision, law enforcement continues to be placed in this difficult position."

For more information, see TriValleyCentral.com



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The Missouri Sheriffs' Association this week approved a resolution backing states that have approved their own legislation on immigration enforcement. The resolution specifically mentions Arizona, where part of a new law on the subject has been blocked by a federal judge.

The Missouri sheriffs group said Wednesday the resolution was approved by more than 100 members at its annual meeting, with no votes in opposition.

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