Sheriff Joe furious after feds strip deputies of 'ICE' statusPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX - Sheriff Joe Arpaio says the feds have pulled the plug on his power to go after illegal immigrants.
So does it mean an end to his controversial tactics? The Sheriff says no. This is not the end of his crime sweeps and says nothing changes
At the same time he is angry that this power has been slashed by the feds. He claims he is the victim of a political witch hunt. For nearly 3 years, an agreement between the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security has given Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies the power to act as federal immigration agents. But after mounting protests and federal investigations into racial profiling the sheriff says the feds are revoking his authority and will no longer give his deputies on the streets the power to act as ICE agents.
Still Arpaio vows that his tactics will not change. "I'm going to continue doing everything I’ve been doing! Nothing changes!"
The Sheriff held a news conference Tuesday and first said he is angry then said he is happy that his office is severing some ties with the feds.
The Sheriff says, "In fact it's going to be easier not being under the control of the federal government and their Mickey Mouse policies!"
Sheriff Joe insists his crime sweeps will continue but civil rights groups say the MCSO's role in immigration enforcement will now be somewhat limited.
Alessandra with ACLU say, "He will not have the ability to stop, detain, and question based solely on immigration status."
While the sheriff and his critics remain at odds over what exactly the feds’ move means for his deputies on the streets, Homeland Security will still allow Arpaio's jail officers to check the immigration status of inmates.
The Sheriff says he has another crime suppression operation coming up in 2 weeks. What will happen to any illegal immigrants he finds is unclear.