The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has stripped at least five Arizona police agencies of their special powers to make federal immigration arrests.
The decision came Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key parts of Arizona's immigration law but upheld a requirement that officers, while enforcing other laws, question people's immigration status if they're believed to be in the country illegally.
Agreements that gave local police the power to make federal immigration arrests were rescinded for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Mesa and Phoenix police departments and the Yavapai and Pima county sheriff's offices.
It was unclear whether two other Arizona police agencies with similar agreements had their federal powers stripped away.
The federal government says the agreements are no longer productive.
Gov. Jan Brewer slammed the administration for singling out Arizona for the directive, saying President Obama showed his "utter disregard for the safety and security of the Arizona people."
In her statement, she said:
“Of course, it is no coincidence that this announcement comes immediately on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the constitutionality of the heart of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law: SB 1070. It’s worth noting that 68 law enforcement entities in 24 states have functioning 287(g) agreements with the federal government. But it appears the only agreements eliminated today were those in Arizona, the state that happens to be on the front lines of America’s fight against illegal immigration. We are on our own, apparently.
“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The Obama administration has fought the people of Arizona at every turn – downplaying the threat that a porous border poses to our citizens, filing suit in order to block our State from protecting itself, unilaterally granting immunity to tens of thousands of illegal aliens living in our midst, and now this. Still, the disarmament of Arizona’s 287(g) agreements is a new low, even for this administration.
“Since 2006, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security credits the 287(g) program with identifying nearly 300,000 potentially-removable aliens nationwide. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has trained and certified more than 1,500 state and local officers to assist in the enforcement of immigration law, including many in Arizona. In fact, even as the President was wiping out Arizona’s 287(g) agreements, the ICE website itself continued to herald the collaborative approach of the 287(g) program, noting, ‘Terrorism and criminal activity are most effectively combated through a multi-agency/multi-authority approach that encompasses federal, state and local resources, skills and expertise.’
“The President’s action should be of concern to all Americans. This fight is not over. President Obama may disregard Congress. He may target individual states like Arizona. He may generally act with impunity. But he is not above judgment – and the American people will have theirs very soon.”
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