71 Arrested in Arizona crime, immigration sweep

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By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

PHOENIX (AP) -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says 71 people were arrested in a crime and immigration sweep that began the same day Arizona's new immigration law took effect, and that six of them are illegal immigrants.

Everyone arrested was stopped for traffic violations. Arpaio says three of them were found to be illegal immigrants after they couldn't produce driver's licenses or other identification.

The arrests came after about 180 deputies and trained sheriff's volunteers fanned out across metropolitan Phoenix on Thursday targeting traffic violators who may also be illegal immigrants.

The sweep continued Friday afternoon, when 12 demonstrators opposed to Arpaio's efforts were arrested for trying to block the sweep from beginning.

It was the 17th such sweep conducted by the office. All the sweeps have netted about 1,000 total arrests, and the sheriff's office says about 60 percent of those were illegal immigrants.