MCSO leads 4th Avenue jail tour after policy changePosted: Updated:
On Friday, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said, on the advice of the county attorney, they will no longer do courtesy holds of suspected undocumented immigrants for ICE.
[Original story: Sheriff Paul Penzone changes jail rule for immigrants]
That means when someone is eligible for release, which the courts decide, and they are let out of jail, it is up to ICE to detain the people they have flagged based on their immigration status.
Since Friday, 32 people believed to be in the country illegally have been released. ICE fugitive teams have detained five of them.
Now, instead of being allowed inside the jail, ICE agents have to monitor the parking lot for detainees.
The Sheriff's Office led media on a tour of the intake process at 4th Avenue Jail, saying their experience is different from what ICE is conveying.
MCSO Capt. Mike Dawson said even before Friday's changes, part of the booking process includes being seen by ICE agents.
"Every individual goes by ICE, and at that point we accept them, they get searched," Capt. Dawson said.
He said ICE run checks on every individual.
"Right behind you is where ICE is stationed," he said. "That's basically the last stop an arresting agency would have with one of their arrestees."
The inmate's paperwork is reviewed, they are searched and then they become an MCSO inmate.
They get fingerprinted and go to initial appearance court within 24 hours. That judge decides whether they stay, or they go.
"They can be given a bond. They can be given no bond and have to stay in jail. They can be released on recognizance or pretrial services monitoring," Dawson said.
If they are eligible for release, their paperwork is checked.
"Once that supervisor verifies their identity and verifies their release is OK, this is the release door," Dawson said.
They then go through a hallway, and through the double doors that lead to the street.
"The one door in jail you can open yourself, the release door, which opens up to the outside," he said.
On the other side of those doors, ICE could detain people they have identified. We asked ICE why MCSO claimed they haven't been doing that since Friday. They sent us a statement saying:
Last week, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) announced his office would no longer honor immigration detainers. In conjunction with the sudden reversal of a long-standing practice of honoring immigration detainers, the Sheriff also implemented a restriction prohibiting the arrest of individuals with detainers by ICE officers within the confines of the facility. Since the Friday announcement, a total of 32 inmates, who had an immigration detainer on file, have been released by MCSO back into the community, among them were individuals with criminal convictions for drug offenses, extreme DUIs, reckless driving and resisting an officer. As a result, the local Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) office realigned fugitive enforcement resources to prioritize, locate, and arrest those released as a result of the Sheriff’s recently implemented directives. As of this statement, ERO has arrested five individuals who were released as a direct result of the Sheriff’s change in policy.
ICE will continue to seek to collaborate with all law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Arizona, including the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, to help ensure that individuals who may pose a threat to our communities are not released onto the street to potentiallyreoffend and harm individuals living within our communities.”
While the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office did let ICE know they were releasing 24 out of 32 of their inmates during out-processing, they would not allow ICE to arrest them inside their jails, forcing ERO officers to monitor the parking lots for these individuals. This undoubtedly puts ICE officers in danger and places undue liabilities on ICE. Finally, the County Attorney’s Office has advised both ICE and the Sheriff that they see no legal impediment/liabilities in allowing ICE officers to effect arrests within the jail.
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