CNSNews reported today that President Obama's Justice Department is investigating a law enforcement official for enforcing immigration law.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona following requests by congressional Democrats and allegations by liberal activists that the department has violated the civil rights of illegal aliens.
Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Robert Scott (D-Va.) requested the investigation, and activists groups such as National Day Laborer Organizer Network and ACORN launched petition drives and rallies in support of the probe.
The investigation focuses on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and dozens of officers under his command who were trained through the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), which partners federal and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws. (The Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division is known popularly as ICE.)
Justice officials sent a letter to Sheriff Arpaio, which included the following:
"The investigation will focus on alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures conducted by the MCSO, and on allegations of national origin discrimination, including failure to provide meaningful access to MCSO services for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals."
So... what really is the problem these "activists" and Congressmen have with Sheriff Arpaio? It's that he's been effective against illegal immigrants in his county.
In an August 2008 press release, Arpaio's office detailed those results.
"While the Sheriff’s illegal immigration and human smuggling operations conducted on the streets and roadways here have netted nearly 2,300 arrests, another very successful effort to locate illegal aliens has been quietly happening inside Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jails," the release said.
It continues: "Despite the growing criticism of the Sheriff’s illegal immigration fight by some valley politicians and activists, Sheriff Arpaio says 60 detention officers trained by ICE officials have conducted over 106,000 interviews and investigations of inmates booked into jail since April of 2007.
"In those 18 months, 16,000 inmates were determined to be illegal aliens. Either they have already been deported or will be deported after being tried and/or serving their sentences for crimes committed in the valley. The work being done be Arpaio’s detention staff is a likely contributor to the recent reduction in crime in the valley,” the press release added.
"That number of 16,000 represents a full one-third (1/3) of all inmates in the United States who have had holds placed on them after being identified by jail or prison officials as illegal aliens."
The press release goes on to say that 20 percent of inmates in the Maricopa County Jail are illegal aliens and that of those, 2,000 illegal aliens - 70 percent - were arrested for felony crimes.
It's a little tough to organize day laborers when the illegal alien day laborers have been deported or thrown in jail. How can they get funding in Maricopa County when there's no one left there to help?
Pro-illegal immigration activists don't like the enforcement of immigration law, and Sheriff Arpaio is the best-known enforcer of the law. They'll take him down if they possibly can, even if that means leaving all those felons on the streets in Arizona and the rest of our country. It's just too bad for the law-abiding citizens if the crime rates go back up as a result.
I'd slam President Obama for his lax policies on illegal immigration, but unfortunately John McCain probably wouldn't have been any better. He and GW Bush gave nothing more than lip-service to closing the border and only caved in to public outrage on the issue when they were forced to. Frankly, I'm surprised the ICE program of training local law enforcement officers for the task was even implemented. But since it's here and Arpaio's deputies have been trained, we need to let them do their jobs without Justice Department harrassment.