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.
“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.”