Arpaio Vows to Continue Arresting Illegals

Thursday, 08 Oct 2009 06:22 PM

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Federal authorities are moving to rein in Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the man celebrated as "America's Toughest Sheriff," after complaints that immigration raids by his deputies amounted to unconstitutional roundups of Latinos.

Arpaio and his Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff's department have had an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security since 2007 that allows his department to enforce federal immigration laws.

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But Arpaio says the federal agency now is moving to revise the agreement to limit that power to checking the immigration status of inmates already in his Phoenix jail, according to CNN.

Arpaio told CNN's "American Morning" the allegations were "garbage" and said he would continue to use state laws to crack down on undocumented immigrants in his county.

"We do not go on street corners and grab people that look like they're from another country," he said. "Pursuant to our duties, when we come across illegals, we take action."

Arpaio says he's now become the poster boy of the emotionally charged immigration debate and is losing authority for political reasons.

"They don't want to aggravate the Hispanic community, aggravate the businesspeople who hire the illegals, and they want amnesty," he said.

Read the full story at CNN.com.

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