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Sheriff Arpaio Loses Federal Immigration Enforcement Powers

December 15, 2011  | 

The Obama Administration's Department of Homeland Security stripped Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio of several federal tools for immigration enforcement after a scathing Justice Department report accused his office of discriminatory policing.

Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano terminated the agency's 287(g) jail model agreement and restricted access to the Secure Communities fingerprint database. A 287(g) agreement allows local officers to identify, process, and detain immigration offenders, after receiving training from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust," Napolitano said in a statement. "DHS will not be a party to such practices."

Earlier in the day, the Justice Department accused the sheriff's agency of racially profiling Latinos, retaliating against critics of its practices, and operating its jails in a way that discriminates against Spanish speakers. 

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said the Maricopa County Sheriff's office is "broken in a number of critical respects" at a press conference announcing the findings of the three-year DOJ probe.

Sheriff's Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre called the release of the findings a "sneak attack" in the Arizona Republic.

The Justice Department began its investigation of the agency in June 2008 and initially focused on allegations of discriminatory policing and discrimination in its jails.

In 2010, the DOJ sued the agency to obtain records. The suit accused Sheriff Arpaio's agency of unlawfully detaining Latinos. The DOJ also claims that Maricopa deputies routinely punish Latino inmates who are limited English proficient when they fail to understand commands given in English, and denies critical services that are provided to other inmates, Perez said.

In the area of discriminatory policing, the DOJ reportedly found that MCSO deputies engage in unlawful racial profiling of Latino drivers. During the investigation, an expert on racial profiling conducted a statistical analysis of MCSO traffic stops. The expert found that Latino drivers were four to nine times more likely to be stopped than similarly situated non-Latino drivers.   The expert concluded that this case involved "the most egregious racial profiling in the United States that he had ever personally observed in the course of his work, observed in litigation, or reviewed in professional literature," Perez said.

In the area of jail management, MCSO apparently drafted a policy in 2010 acknowledging the importance of being able to communicate with Spanish speaking inmates in Spanish and declaring "the use of Spanish is not only important to everyday communication; it is essential to the overall operation of the jails and the safety of the inmates and officers."

The DOJ also listed three other "areas of concern," including use of force, failure to provide adequate police services in Latino communities, and failure to adequately investigate allegations of sexual assault.

By Paul Clinton

Comments (57)

Displaying 1 - 57 of 57

Gearhart @ 12/15/2011 6:43 PM

I don't know about anyone else, but restricting law enforcement officials from accessing law enforcement databases seems like a childish, and more importantly DANGEROUS, idea. I read the article earlier today about the report. I was less than impressed.

Ahmir @ 12/15/2011 7:03 PM

They did not accuse him. They made a conclusion based on an investigation. I'm not being biased. I support MCSO and supported Sheriff Arpaio.. but I do not condone his illegal actions. I still think he is America's toughest sheriff and cares about his job.

TimFromLA @ 12/15/2011 7:04 PM

It is dangerous, but when a pogue selectively enforces SB1070 and not

S.B. 1070

26. Allows the county attorney, in investigations of employers who are alleged to have knowingly or intentionally hired unauthorized aliens, to take evidence, administer oaths or affirmations, issue subpoenas requiring attendance and testimony of witnesses and cause depositions to be taken.

27. Exempts proceedings held during the course of a confidential investigation from open meeting laws.

28. Stipulates that an employer is not entrapped in an investigation if the employer was predisposed to knowingly or intentionally employ an unauthorized alien and law enforcement officers or their agents merely provided the employer with an opportunity to do so.

29. States that it is not entrapment for law enforcement officers or their agents merely to use a ruse or to conceal their identities.

30. Directs employers to keep verification records of their employees’ work eligibility through E-Verify.

31. Establishes a class 3 felony for failing to:

a) verify employment eligibility through E-Verify or

b) keep records of verifications.

Then...Typical politician pogue

TripWire @ 12/15/2011 7:08 PM

Just another example of the Obama administration steamrolling over local agencies that don't tow the line and want to police their own jurisdictions their own way. The Federal government is out of control and needs to be reined in before it's too late..... although I fear it may already be too late.

Frank @ 12/15/2011 7:22 PM

See Joe!I told you to leave my Birth Certificate investigation alone.

This Administration needs to go before we loose all our rights

Ann Marie @ 12/15/2011 7:35 PM

This is horrifying to me for many reasons. Sitting in a comfy office in DC is not the same as watching a border and protecting US citizens from a raging war of evil men over the border who send their minions through AZ like it is not only their right but we should just lay down like cowards and take it like they do in Mexico. I think that law enforcement deals with the scum of the earth every day and is a better judge of what is happening on the ground in their own state than a politician in Washington trying to get votes to keep his job is able to make. This administration needs to go.

damond @ 12/15/2011 7:49 PM

Of course it's it profiling. When you're dealing with illegal latino immigrants on the souhtern border, you're going to be looking for, you guess it, latinos. That's like accusing an asian gang task force of profiling asians.

john @ 12/15/2011 8:16 PM

Tripwire, you are absolutely right. Obummer and his stooges will stop at nothing to stifle dissent that slows their march to turn this country into a Marxist Utopia. Isn't the timing a little funny as well? Holder was just before Congress being questioned about Fast and Furious. There is a lot of discussion about holding him in contempt because of his willful failure to honestly answer questions and produce documents. It is time for all of them to go. I just hope that they have not done too much damage already.

Shaggy @ 12/15/2011 8:39 PM

For those in prison, speak English. This is America, therefore speak the language the American speak. When I go to Mexico, no one is gonna accommodate me. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is the best and he have America and Americans at heart. This administration needs to do a better job at protecting our BORDER.

WCSO 2041 @ 12/15/2011 10:14 PM

This is a sad day. Arpaio is doing a great thing as a Sheriff and as a hero protecting Americas Constitution. As a previous resident of Arizona I found it disgusting how every time the backyard motion light comes on, its people sneaking into this great country. After days like 911, you would think our very own President would understand the importance of stopping illegal aliens from entering this country undocumented and with god knows what. It's no question were most of the illegal drugs are coming from, but why do we end up scratching our heads when terrorists end up in our major cities? It's because we need better border security. It's funny how the Mexican president said last year that the US building a wall to keep illegals out was like the Berlin Wall. But yet he lives in the US for safety. I have no problems, just come here legally. When a sheriff department has more deputies than we have protecting our borders at the federal level, accept the help. It's like the recent law passed in Chicago that small amounts of marajuana are now legal. Come on, the bad guys are starting to win.

Dave @ 12/15/2011 10:40 PM

You know seems to me that when a department such as Mcso does there job and is strictly enforcing the law seems like the Feds always step in and say okay wait a minute let's take a step back and give these poor immigrants a break after all were only going to send the ones back that have a criminal record. Well better send em all back cus once they cross that border they are criminals. What's wrong with people Mcso is just trying to do there job give them a break they are actually doing there job unlike the federal government.

Dennis Wenger @ 12/15/2011 11:09 PM

Remember ^this^ in November 2012.

It is not the TEA Party that is killing us.

Good luck Sheriff Arpaio. Keep the faith.

Morning Eagle @ 12/15/2011 11:23 PM

Further proof, as if any was needed, that napolitano has no clue about what it takes to secure the border, nor does she care to know because taking actual measures to secure it would thwart the agenda of her boss. It might put a different light on it if the feds were doing their job but they are purposely not trying to stop this criminal invasion. I'm not talking about the agents on the ground that are at serious risk every day while dealing with these criminal thugs. I mean the whole apparatus obama has put in place to undermine our immigration laws. obama, neopolitano, holder and all their lackeys MUST be put out of office and the sooner the better.

Hopefully, Sheriff Arpaio will continue to be as firm as he has in the past until the hierarchy of these out-of-control, subversive federal agencies and the clueless judges that back them can be flushed away. And by the way, I hope he tells the ACLU where to stick their accusations.

I agree with most of the comments above.

richard valdemar @ 12/15/2011 11:25 PM

“We have peeled the onion to its core,” said Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights..."

What do you expect the Open Borders administration's spokes hole to say?

The anti-anyone-who-opposes-amnesty and open borders Leftist Liberals (mostly only found in and around Phoenix - California transplants) are running this witch hunt to take out Senator Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe. The majority of the rest of Arizona strongly supports them!

Chris @ 12/15/2011 11:29 PM

Not completely sure about the racial makeup of the people he serves, but willing to bet it is majority Latino. That would easily explain the higher numbers of Latino stops. I think the stops are directly reflective of the population. Sheriff Arpaio gets it and stands for what he believes in. Thank you for your service.

Morning Eagle @ 12/15/2011 11:53 PM

Second submit, the first one will not show for some reason.

Further proof, as if any was needed, that napolitano has no clue about what it takes to secure the border, nor does she care to know because taking actual measures to secure it would thwart the agenda of her boss. It might put a different light on it if the feds were doing their job but they are purposely not trying to stop this criminal invasion. I'm not talking about the agents on the ground that are at serious risk every day when dealing with these criminal thugs. I mean the whole apparatus obama has put in place to undermine our immigration laws. obama, neopolitano, holder and all their lackeys MUST be put out of office and the sooner the better.

Hopefully, Sheriff Arpaio will continue to be as firm as he has in the past until the hierarchy of these out-of-control, subversive federal agencies can be flushed away.

Secure Border Supporter @ 12/16/2011 12:09 AM

The only reason Sheriff Arpaio has not filled his jail with Canadians is well he is on the border with a Latino country, USA does not have hundreds of thousands of Canadians rushing illegally over our borders. If you are in any area or city close to the border the overwhelming population density is Latino both legal and illegal so the law of averages your jail will have a high Latino population. I bet if you check the hospitals most of the Doctors and Nurses are of Latino descent, Same goes to the schools, Lawyers offices, Engineers etc, etc. I live in Texas and all border areas in Texas are largely populated by people of Latino descent, Like Sheriffs, Doctors, etc. If Arpaio was patrolling in Hawaii, I bet he would probably arrest a few Hawaiians, same if he was in Antarctica I bet he would arrest penguins.

Commander / MPS DOPS @ 12/16/2011 4:18 AM

Strongly don't agree with the actions of our Government. Taking away the tools from law enforcement weakens our efforts. This Sheriff is an icon to many of his LE brothers.

FireCop @ 12/16/2011 4:31 AM

Just another example of the Chicago cronies in Washington bullying anyone who does not play along with their policies. We all have the chance to make a serioius change for the good and safety of our country next November. If we don't, we deserve what we get. Be safe.

mert @ 12/16/2011 5:26 AM


mert @ 12/16/2011 5:37 AM


Randy L. Dixon Rivera @ 12/16/2011 6:17 AM

My attackers referred to me as the "Gringo" reverse hate crimes DOJ ignores
There is too much hypocrisy in the present system. "Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust," DHS Director Napolitano. However its OK if it was against a Gringo? Odd the exact opposite happened (reverse discrimination/ hate crimes) to my family & I - DOJ did nothing?
Have evidence US Government has betrayed its own Law Enforcement Officers - this is a very well documented case. I have the goods on the DOJ & FBI ignoring hate crimes when in reverse and they know it but somehow the national press is staying silent? This all happened in Puerto Rico, USA. My family and I suffered blatant public corruption, reverse discrimination and deadly hate crimes, while the feds did nothing! No investigation = no crime. I was a Federal Police Officer for the VA! However I have the Feds full knowledge well documented but have not made that evidence made public yet. I have made only the evidence public that my family and I lost our home (paid for no mortgage), our land (paid for), our possessions as well as nearly my life all well documented! Something stinks in America these days. I am a US Veteran but the ones who attempted to set me up ( to be murdered in cold blood and defenselessness - they failed) are not Veterans but work for the Veterans Affairs in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I have so much to share about the real US Government recently. - Randy L. Dixon Rivera

Annette @ 12/16/2011 6:20 AM

The last time I checked the "illegal Immigrants" coming across the border from Mexico are "Latinos"! I can't imagine why he would be looking for Chinese illegals trying to swim into Arizona!! We should give him a medal for doing his job in a way that is working! Oh wait, that's not how they do where ya'll are from in Washington D.C., is it?

Hoss075 @ 12/16/2011 6:45 AM

This is TOTAL BS... Maybe we need / should have a President like Sheriff Joe... Just what part of "Illegal" doesn't the Obama Administration Understand????

Dan @ 12/16/2011 7:13 AM

Another good example as to why our government is so screwed up, strip good law enforcement of their tools and tell them to go do their job better, this is a sad move.

Tom Ret @ 12/16/2011 7:41 AM

The problem is not with the sheriff but our left wing federal gov headed by Obama and his czars. The feds enforce the laws when it suits them.

DEJ @ 12/16/2011 8:19 AM

I just want to be sure I understand this:

1. DOJ won't enforce US immigration laws, and objects to local sheriffs trying to do so;

2. DOJ hasn't figured out that profiling is a valid, valuable law enforcement tool;

3. DOJ found a "profiling expert" to compile statistics, as anyone with math skills could do;

4. DHS thinks that it's in the best interests of the safety of the citizens to prevent local law enforcement officers from accessing databases;, and

5. DOJ thinks it's okay to sell guns illegally and let them walk across the border to Mexican cartels, even being used in the murder of US officers (wonder if they have engaged in a similar practice elsewhere, that just hasn't been exposed yet).

Sounds to me like DOJ needs to do a little housekeeping of their own....

illiam G. Kidd, Jr. @ 12/16/2011 8:21 AM

If the current administration continues we might as well let everyone who would exploit whats left of this country just walk on in and take over. I am sick to death of liberals.

bdcanute @ 12/16/2011 8:33 AM

Ms. Napolitano had a conflict with Sheriff Arpio when she was an official in AZ. She, apparently, has a biased view of legal authority and uses her office to allow transgressions to take place. Cutting law enforcement off from vital information is nuts! Hang in there, Joe. Those who do the job or know the responsibility are surely behind you.

G. defelippo @ 12/16/2011 9:04 AM

Just line up Bend over then kiss this country goodbye. The socialists wont be happy until we become a third world society and all speak chinese.

maleman39 @ 12/16/2011 9:41 AM

Incredibly stupid on the part of the DHS. According to the laws against discrimination, we should not have fought the Japanese or the Germansin WWII; or the North Vietnamese or South Vietnamese Viet Cong. Who else is coming across the border except illegal Latinos? Is there any reason now to doubt the Anti-American policies of the Obama White House? Do not expect the Obama Administration to make any rational decisions. As far as I am concerned, my opinion is that they are "enemies of the American People and traditions," well demonstrated. Impeachment is in order. Wake up!

Frank S @ 12/16/2011 9:45 AM

We are a nation of laws. When the law does not suit some particular group the powers that be change them. If I remember my history class there was a phrase that use to ring out "of the people, for the people and by the people" no part of that listed the politicos. The people, the citizens of the United States. The people need to take a hand and bring back the RIGHTS of the Citizens of the US not just the small factions trying to bring it down around us

DJ @ 12/16/2011 10:27 AM

What is really sad is the feds and DOJ don't see the big picture which is all the kidnappings, shootings, drug sales being conducted by illegals. The term Illegal Alien in and of itself implies you have broken the law by just being here. And yes, traffic stops of Hispanics are going to be hire when you are in an area that is over 50% Hispanic. If they profile, so be it. If you are here legally and have a license then you can be on your way. If you are here ILLEGALLY then it is time to go home

Dilt @ 12/16/2011 10:29 AM

What does a chicago politician surrounded by a secret service detail know about police work in Arizona? Seems it's about as much as he knows about being a working middle class US citizen. NOTHING!

Ignorant people do stupid things. Makes me sick to think about it.

DJ @ 12/16/2011 10:40 AM

Arpaio is the best sheriff in the nation. He is combating a problem the federal government should be doing. Afterall the feds are supposed to protect THEIR citizens first. The term Illegal Alien implies you are doing something illegal by being here in the first place or have the feds turned a blind eye to all the kidnappings, shootings, and drug sales being commited by illegal aliens. I don't think they are profiling when the population they are working in is more than 50% Hispainic. And if they are then all one has to do is have a license or be here LEGALLY and they won't have a problem. It's a sad day when a Mexican drug cartel leader can sneak his wife across the border to Lancaster, Ca to she can have their children which now makes them U.S. citizens. All it takes is to change one constitutional law. Instead of being born here making you an automatic citizen make the law read that one of the parents must also be a LEGAL U.S. citizen. Then illegals will stop coming here to have children.

Paul @ 12/16/2011 11:29 AM

I'm a retired Police Officer and have felt for a long time the Sheriff Joe Arpaio was an ego way out of control. When a law enforcement officer takes the position that the end justifies the means then he has crossed the line and should not be allowed to wear the badge.

S.R.G. @ 12/16/2011 11:30 AM

Strange that with so many sheriffs along the US Mexican border, this is the only one who decides to be different.

James Jensen @ 12/16/2011 11:40 AM

Sheriff Joe needs to run for PRESIDENT !

lawman94 @ 12/16/2011 12:00 PM

They want Local Law Enforcement to do the jobs for the feds but when the job is being done, they dont want LLE to play anymore??

Stick to it Joe, We need our country back..

BB749 @ 12/16/2011 12:42 PM

Funny how this coincides with the investigation into Obama's Birth Certificate, this is how this corrupt administration has handled people in the past, with Chicago style political thuggery. When will people wake up, and see that there is something very wrong with Obama's past, and the Karl Marx agenda he is forcing on America, against her will.

copcar69 @ 12/16/2011 1:08 PM

Profiling? Really? Aren't these latinos already in jail? If we Americans were in Mexico, wouldn't they expect us to speak Mexican? The primary language should be English in America. If you can't speak it, then at least learn the commands of prison. You lost your freedom when you committed crimes and was found guilty. helllloooooooo..does anyone not get that? OMG I am so sick of politicians. Why don't you go for a ride a long and see what really goes on out there in the middle of the night. Give me a friggin break..

Dwayne Juedes @ 12/16/2011 4:37 PM

I back Sheriff Arpaio 100%. We have way too many policically correct politician's making decisions in Washington for those of us on the front lines. Way too many good law enforcement officers are dying because of their stupid decisions. Dwayne Juedes

vcobbs @ 12/16/2011 5:30 PM

"Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust," Napolitano said in a statement. "DHS will not be a party to such practices."
Most Joe supports and others think "DHS undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust."

Larry Thompson @ 12/16/2011 6:20 PM

You folks have pretty much echoed my sentiments. Its like a rabid fox nawing off its own leg to get out of the steel trap. No, Sheriff, you are not the fox or the steel trap. I am inclined to believe we all share in your anguish. Stand proud, Sir.

cplsmitty @ 12/16/2011 6:38 PM

If you take away the sheriff's access to federal crime fighting tools, that are funded with our tax dollars, do the residents of AZ. get a tax refund? Perhaps Sheriff Joe should no longer respond to or investigate federal crime, like bank robbery, and require the feds to do it themselves. The citizens of this nation should be in uproar over this. Anyone can see through this "sham." November 2012 can't come soon enough.

JFitz @ 12/16/2011 10:11 PM

It is the goal of Obama to punish the country he hates, the United States, by incrementally pushing the U.S. into becomming a socialist state which will result in a lower standard of living. It is no surprise that he attacks Sheriff Arpaio in the manner of a third world despot.

Jane Simone @ 12/17/2011 4:06 PM

Obama has done many things to hinder enforcement of immigration law, and to hinder protection of our border. Among some of his more odious other actions were prosecution ... really persecution ... of border agents who were involved in gunfights with illegals.

angela @ 12/17/2011 4:52 PM

DOJ is discriminating against it's own people. Napolatino hates gays and lesbians

9744 @ 12/17/2011 8:13 PM

It is a shame that a political agenda is potentially putting officers' lives at risk. An attempt to secure a Latino voting base should not be a reason to sacrifice local and national security.

Bill T. @ 12/19/2011 2:49 AM

I'm not understanding this silliness involving "Racial Profiling" as it pertains to illegal invaders? I mean let's at least get real here, shall we? What is an illegal Mexican supposed to look like, a blond haired Swede?

John Russell @ 12/20/2011 9:14 AM

IS there a PROVISION in AZ LAW that allows to deputize citizens? Highly important what I am saying??? very serious if there is ARPAIO could produce jobs and industry to stop Illegal immigration because many men want jobs and none better than securing the USA/MEXICO border. Perfect way to get the personell needed right now!

Tommy @ 12/22/2011 6:57 AM

Simple retaliation by Obummer and Company. Neapolitan is political hack anyway.

Eff the DOJ, they are just trying to deflect heat from Guns for Gangbangers that went sour. AND the fact that the Administration has no effing clue on how to handle the illegal mescans.

Joe is effective. Obama and Co. are a bunch of rank amateur clowns from a two bit circus trying to look all suave and deboner.

Eff them and the soros contributions that they rode in on.

Randy L. Dixon Rivera @ 12/22/2011 4:19 PM

@TripWire - you nailed it on the head. Things are happening to America & Americans, I would have never dreamed of as a young man in our Military. When the reins fell to ground is still to be debated. This is no longer my Father's America, that's for sure. Brother fighting Big Brother?

Gideon @ 12/22/2011 4:54 PM

Janet Napolitano . . . what a waste. Hey Janet, that's mighty bold talk for a one-eyed fat woman, who has never possessed an ounce of credibility in her entire, miserable life.

CraftyFellow @ 12/22/2011 5:21 PM

Lets see, was it Sheriff Joe Arpaio that was selling automatic weapons to the the Mexican Drug Cartels that were used to kill Federal Agents???

I am suprised the Justice Department isn't going after the Border patrol for racially profiling Latinos!!!

John @ 1/4/2012 12:35 PM

It's funny that when there is a clear and present danger to our nation militarily in the form of cartels and economically in the form of both cartels and illegal labor, DHS wants to pull the race card...we clearly have a problem in the southwest with illegal immigration (We had it where I'm originally from in northern california with cartels fighting drug wars in the redwoods against DEA using assault weapons) and yet the powers that be are more concerned about making the stock market jump a few points higher on the cheap imported labor than the well-being of the taxpayers who feed the system that they abuse.

Rick Womb;e @ 1/13/2012 4:07 PM

This is nothing less than another example of the Thug from Chicago administration's attempt to socialize this nation and buy votes from the Spanish American community, legally or illegally. This DHS (Bush's Gestapo) needs to be sent packing.

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