Deputies out again on 2nd day of crime sweep in W. Valley

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Another controversial sweep

Sheriff Joe planning crime sweep tonight - Maricopa County deputies and posse members will be out in force tonight for another crime suppression operation, but the exact location is being kept under wraps for the moment.

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MARICOPA COUNTY -- Maricopa County deputies and posse members will be out in force again Friday after a crime suppression sweep Thursday night that covered the entire West Valley.

Some 200 deputies and posse volunteers were out Thursday night. They made 15 arrests. Ten of those people were suspected of being undocumented immigrants.

Similar crime sweeps have stirred up controversy of the past year, with some calling the operations nothing more than racial profiling.

Like they have in past operations, protesters came out to raise their objections to the sweeps. There was also a strong showing by those who support Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his programs.

The sweeps, which are conducted under the 287(g) program, which allows local law-enforcement agencies to arrest illegal immigrants, are also the center of a hearing earlier this month in the U.S. House of Representative, a hearing to which Arpaio said he was not invited.

Arpaio said at the time that he was not concerned about not testifying at the hearing.

"I'm not concerned. I'm going to continue to enforce the illegal immigration laws," he said. "I'll never be forced out. They can put that in their pipe."

While nothing was decided at that hearing, more hearings are expected.

Arpaio is a staunch defender of the 287(g) program.

"My office is trained by the federal government -- ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- ... five weeks of intensive training on how to identify people that may be here illegally," he said on The Colbert Report last week. "We don't stop people on the street corner and lock them up because they look like they're from Mexico or any other country. Pursuant to our duties, when we're doing a crime suppression or other operation, if we come across illegals, we have the training to pursue them."

Arpaio and his department remain under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for alleged discriminatory practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures.