UPDATE: Contact info for Sheriff Dupnik’s department can be found at http://pimasheriff.org/contacts.
Tucson, Arizona’s KGUN9 is reporting that Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik ain’t gonna enforce SB 1070 in his town. He called it “a racist law” and will not comply should it go into effect.
In doing so, Dupnik becomes the first major local law enforcement official to officially rebel against the bill since Governor Jan Brewer signed it into law on Friday.
Dupnik told KGUN9’s Steve Nunez that the law is “disgusting” and “unnecessary.” Dupnik said his deputies plan to keep on doing what they’ve always done. He said when illegal immigrants wind up in his custody, his deputies will detain them for federal agents, but will not take them to the county jail.
This is what proponents of SB1070 forget: immigration laws already on the books are not at all sympathetic to immigrants, undocumented or otherwise. Under programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been very efficiently shuttling people out of the country, deporting nearly 400,000 last year alone. We’ve got unprecedented numbers of Border Patrol agents stationed at the border and strewn across the country. Under President Obama, the budget for ICE has increased dramatically.
I’m not saying that the laws ICE is enforcing are fair, just or humane. But states and localities do not have the right to enforce federal laws. On this point, Dupnik is right. His police officers should not be enforcing immigration laws. Because really, we already condone the de facto racial profiling of people of color with national immigration policy.