Tag: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

Immigration News

Raid Expected in Phoenix Raises Questions About Local Enforcement of Immigration Laws

ALSO: Hear Valeria’s interview Friday morning on public radio’s The Takeaway.

A demonstration against Arpaio in Phoenix in June 2009.

A demonstration in Phoenix against Arpaio in June 2009.

PHOENIX, Arizona — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio claims he doesn’t need permission from the federal government to enforce U.S. immigration laws.

And today he plans an immigration raid to prove it.

The raid, expected later today in an undisclosed location, raises questions about how far local authorities can go when it comes to enforcing federal laws against illegal immigration. It could also test when and if the federal government is willing to intervene when local authorities step beyond their jurisdiction in enforcing immigration laws.

Arpaio announced the raid last week, shortly after he signed a new proposed agreement with the federal government that limits his immigration enforcement authorization.

The Department of Homeland Security was expected to make an announcement about the future of the agreement, known as 287(g), by the end of this week.

“I still can use the state laws to arrest illegal aliens,” said the sheriff who announced he would be willing to drive undocumented immigrants to the border if federal authorities didn’t take them in custody. Earlier in the week he said the decision to cancel the existing 287(g) agreement that allows his deputies to arrest undocumented immigrants on the street was “political.”

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Immigration NewsLatinoPhoenixPodcast

Children of Detained Immigrants Call for End to Raids in Arizona: Raid Today One of the Largest

PHOENIX, Arizona — While the Obama administration has established new federal guidelines to focus on employers that break the law by hiring undocumented workers, local authorities in Maricopa County are going in the opposite direction, and increasing the crackdown on employees. Just today sheriff’s deputies conducted one of the largest raids to date at a paper plant in Phoenix.

Heidi Rubi Portugal (holding sign) and other child protesters look up at the office of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in downtown Phoenix - Photo: Nick Oza

Heidi Rubi Portugal, holding sign, and other child protesters look up at the office of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in downtown Phoenix. (Photo: Nick Oza)

Last Friday dozens of children took to the streets to call for an end to immigration raids by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and to bring attention to the social and economic impact the raids have had on their families.

“I want to tell Sheriff Joe Arpaio to let my parents alone and let them free. And leave the people that are working out, and (instead) get the people that are killing others and robbing,” said Katherine Figueroa, a 9-year-old U.S. citizen.

Katherine’s parents Sandra and Carlos Figueroa –both undocumented — were arrested in June in a raid at a Phoenix carwash where they worked , and charged with identity theft. Katherine found out about their arrest when she saw her dad detained on a local TV news program.

It’s been two months since Katherine has shared a meal with her parents. She now stays with one of her aunts.

“He needs to stop the raids is not fair what he’s doing to people,” said Katherine who held a cardboard sign in the shape of a colorful orange and black butterfly.

Listen to Katherine here:

[audio:http://www.jocelyngonzales.net/FI2W/children3.mp3]

The Monarch butterfly was the theme for the young marchers because it endures an epic migration between Mexico and the U.S. for its survival.

Chanting “Obama, Obama we want our parents back,” the children walked in the hot Arizona summer from Madison Jail, were their parents are detaine to Sheriff Arpaio’s offices in downtown Phoenix.

Listen to the children chanting:

[audio:http://www.jocelyngonzales.net/FI2W/children1.mp3]


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Immigration News

Questions Raised Over New Rules Governing Local Enforcement of U.S. Immigration Laws

PHOENIX, Arizona –The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office leads the nation when it comes to the number of local officers deputized by the federal government to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Now the program known as 287 (g) is about to change. But the impact of those changes, announced on Friday by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, is unclear here and around the country. Napolitano announced an expansion of the 287 (g) program while making apprehension of criminal immigrants its priority.

Reza

Salvador Reza leads a demonstration in Arizona for immigrant rights. Photo:Valeria Fernandez

The news brought mixed reaction in Arizona, where use of the program has raised concerns over alleged racial profiling and abuse by deputies under the command of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Some applauded the changes to the federal-local agreement as a positive step that would ensure civil rights protections for undocumented immigrants. Others argued the program should end because it has caused local law enforcement go after undocumented immigrants with no criminal record, a deviation from its traditional role of fighting crime.

“If she wants to show good faith she should have suspended the agreement (in Maricopa),” said Salvador Reza, a member of PUENTE a local pro-immigrant movement that opposes 287 (g). “Unless they implement immigration reform that works, what is going on right now is going to keep on dividing our families,” he added. (more…)