Arpaio: ICE refuses to pick up illegal immigrants

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says a federal agency refused to pick up two illegal immigrants detained by his officers.

The sheriff says this marks the first time in recent years that Immigration and Customs Enforcement refused such a request.

Arpaio questioned the cooperation authorities will get from federal agents who will be called to verify people's status in the enforcement of Arizona's immigration law and be responsible for picking up illegal immigrants.

Federal officials have said they'll help if doing so conforms with their priorities, such as identifying those who threaten public safety.

ICE says the two immigrants didn't have criminal histories and referred Arpaio's office to the Border Patrol.

Arpaio wouldn't say whether deputies used Arizona's immigration law in detaining the immigrants.

The Border Patrol took custody of the pair.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation) contributed to this report.