Spokeswoman explains why ICE answered Arpaio's call for assistance

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on July 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 3 at 6:23 PM

PHOENIX -- A traffic stop on Monday landed nine people behind bars.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the group is suspected of human smuggling.

“We pulled this car over for speeding," Arpaio said. "Some did run away.”

Deputies also found two more people in the car suspected of being in the country illegally.

These recent arrests come on the heels of the Supreme Court's ruling on Senate Bill 1070.

Part of the law was upheld that allows law enforcement officers to question the status of someone who is suspected of committing a crime.

For the first time since the ruling, deputies called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday.

“I'm just happy that they took them off our hands so that we don't have to let them go on the streets," Arpaio said. "Now tomorrow may be a different issue, depending on what type of detainment we do. There may be a time we just arrest somebody for a traffic violation and they refuse to pick them up."

Accoring to an ICE spokeswoman, the adult Mexican man and the 16-year-old unaccompanied Guatemalan female met the agency's enforcement priorities. The male suspect was previously deported from the United States.
 
“I'm not waiting on any other rulings," Arpaio said. "It is business as usual for my office. Nothing changes.”

The sheriff also said he has a plan in place should ICE not answer his call in the future. Arpaio did not want to share his plan with us.

Here is the full statement sent to 3TV from an ICE spokeswoman regarding the detainment of two suspected undocumented immigrants:
 
“As stated previously, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Arizona continue to respond only to those state and local police requests for immigration enforcement assistance when ICE determines that the individual involved meets DHS enforcement priorities — is a convicted criminal, has been removed from the U.S. previously and re-entered unlawfully or is a recent border crosser. When ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers were contacted Monday by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office seeking immigration enforcement assistance with two individuals who were part of a suspected human smuggling load, ICE officials determined that the two persons, an adult Mexican male and a 16-year-old unaccompanied Guatemalan female, met the agency's enforcement priorities. Records checks revealed the adult male had been previously removed from the United States. He is in ICE custody awaiting repatriation to Mexico. ICE officials are working to transfer the unaccompanied juvenile into the care and custody of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, as is standard protocol.”
 
 

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