Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio claims Immigration and Customs Enforcement refused to take custody of a suspected undocumented immigrant his deputies were handing over.
Detectives from MCSO's Human Smuggling Unit came across two men during a traffic stop in southern Maricopa County Monday afternoon.
Arpaio said the driver was unable to produce proper identification to operate a vehicle. Both occupants later admitted to being in the country illegally, MCSO said.
The driver was arrested and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on state charges while detectives attempted to turn the passenger over to ICE, Arpaio said.
The sheriff said ICE agents asked a series of questions then refused to take the man from detectives. Arpaio said an ICE supervisor told sheriff's detectives the undocumented immigrant did not fall into their guidelines for acceptance.
"I continue to enforce the laws but keep running into roadblocks," Arpaio said in a statement. "My backup plan is still in place and we will continue to take these illegal aliens not accepted by ICE to the Border Patrol."
Detectives transported the undocumented immigrant to the Border Patrol in Casa Grande, where he was processed for deportation.
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