MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. -- Sixteen illegal aliens were taken into custody Friday night by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Human Smuggling Unit.
The suspects were being transported by van through the northern part of Maricopa County. They were on their way to New York, New Jersey, Texas, Kansas, California, Kentucky, and Connecticut. They all paid between $300 and $3,500 to be smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.
One of the individuals who was detained was an unaccompanied 6-year-old boy who claimed to be from El Salvador.
The child was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while the other suspects were booked into the Maricopa County Jail.
Following the detentions, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he remains dedicated to fighting illegal immigration.
“Regardless of the SB1070 controversy, President Obama’s recent new policy regarding illegal immigration, specifically the ‘Dream Act,’ activists, certain political figures, and the DOJ who has recently taken me to Federal Court, I will continue to enforce all of the immigration laws,” said Arpaio.
A Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s controversial immigration law SB1070 is expected sometime in the near future.
On Friday, President Obama announced that illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who do not pose a threat to the public or national security and meet certain criteria will not be deported and will be eligible to apply for a work permit.