By Jim Kouri
Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision on immigration enforcement and the Obama Administration response — that includes a special hotline for complaints against Arizona law enforcement officers who dare to enforce immigration laws — controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio gave President Barack Obama and his minions a “virtual raspberry” and defiantly announced, “I’m going to enforce our state laws.”
The most controversial provision of the much maligned Arizona immigration law, a provision that requires police check the status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally, was the only provision to be upheld by the nation’s highest court on Monday.
However, the high court’s ruling is leaving the door open to additional challenges by the Obama White House and Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been investigating Arpaio for years.
“I’m concerned about whether the federal government will pick up the illegal aliens that law enforcement and my office come in contact with. In fact, I predicted this morning they won’t, and I just heard that the Homeland Security said they’re not going to pick up illegal aliens that the law enforcement comes in contact with on traffic stops,” said Sheriff Arpaio during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Your World with Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.
“Also, they took away all the 287-G from all law enforcement. Of course, they took away mine the day they announced that I was under investigation. So, there seems to be a war on Arizona over this illegal immigration problem,” Arpaio told Cavuto.
The ruling prohibits police, for example, from arresting suspect illegal immigrants without a warrant. In addition, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano piled on when she threatened Arizona with non-response when sheriffs’ deputies or police officers call Immigration and Customs Enforcement thereby necessitating the release of illegal aliens unless they committed another offense.
It is a well known fact that Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, as a local law enforcement agency, is on the front lines of protecting its citizens from criminal aliens including drug traffickers, kidnappers (Phoenix, the nation’s capital when it comes to kidnap-for-ransom cases, is located in Maricopa County), and other criminal aliens entering Arizona across the porous U.S.-Mexico border.
Under Sheriff Arpaio, a cop who is hated by the Democrat Party’s liberal-left wing, has often said his office “aggressively enforces all local, state and federal laws in order to combat the growing illegal immigration epidemic in Maricopa County.”
In fact, Arpaio’s deputy sheriffs were specifically trained by the Homeland Security Department at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, to identify “indicators that a person or persons might be in this country illegally without violating their constitutional rights,” according to Arpaio.
“The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office strictly adheres to the Constitution of the United States. This Office values everyone’s freedom and rights provided to them by the Constitution whether they are in this country legally or illegally,” said Arpaio in a statement.
“Deputy sheriffs must have reasonable suspicion that a person is in this country illegally before a deputy can pursue a line of questioning which pertains to their immigration status,” Arpaio added.
Activist groups would like the general public to believe Maricopa County deputy sheriffs ask people their immigration status without reasonable suspicion, which is a total misrepresentation of the truth, according to the sheriff, who is held in high-esteem by a majority of Americans.
It is the job of the Human Smuggling Unit inside the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to specifically deal with illegal aliens who commit crimes. The mission of the Human Smuggling Unit (HSU) is to interdict human smuggling loads and drop houses and to conduct investigations which result in the successful prosecution of all suspects under ARS 13-2319.A. (human smuggling statute), according to Arpaio.
With regard to human smugglers, or coyotes, on numerous occasions Arpaio’s deputies have come across SUV’s and mini vans with 25 or more illegal aliens squeezed into the vehicles. MCSO has even come across a load vehicle where a two year old girl was being smuggled unaccompanied by any family members. This little girl was squeezed into the corner of a van with approximately sixteen other illegal aliens. None of the other illegal aliens in vehicle could account for the little girl, according to the man known as America’s Toughest Sheriff.
“Finding this child was extremely disturbing considering the violence that is associated with smugglers, not to mention the sexual crimes MCSO has come across during human smuggling investigations,” he said in his statement.
MCSO has conducted numerous criminal investigations at businesses within Maricopa County. The majority of the investigations were launched as a result of tips received via our Illegal Immigration Tip Line. Over 70% of the tips that come into MCSO are by legal residents of Hispanic decent, yet the activist groups still scream racial profiling every time MCSO serves a criminal search warrant at a business and arrests illegal aliens for Identity theft and forgery, according to MCSO officials.