Feds cut enforcement powers of Arizona sheriff

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Homeland Security Department says it has completed agreements with 55 state and law enforcement agencies to help arrest and deport immigration violators.

But one of those agreements would limit Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies to checking only the immigration status of jail inmates. Arpaio is the subject of a Justice Department investigation triggered by complaints of racial profiling. Arpaio denies the allegations.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement operates the controversial program. The Obama administration altered it after complaints of abuses and mismanagement. Six agencies did not renew the agreements after the changes.

Immigration officials say 12 more agreements have been approved by DHS and await local approval. Six more agreements are in negotiation.

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