The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Thursday they were terminating Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office 287(g) jail model agreement and would restrict access to the Secure Communities program."
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement that the decision was based on the Justice Department’s findings of discriminatory policing practices by MCSO and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, reports TPM.
"Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust. DHS will not be a party to such practices," Napolitano said. "Accordingly, and effective immediately, DHS is terminating MCSO’s 287(g) jail model agreement and is restricting the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office access to the Secure Communities program."
Napolitano said that DHS "will utilize federal resources for the purpose of identifying and detaining those individuals who meet U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) immigration enforcement priorities." DHS, she said, "will continue to enforce federal immigration laws in Maricopa County in smart, effective ways that focus our resources on criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor."
Chris Newman, Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said he’s pleased the DOJ report compelled the Department of Homeland Security to take steps today that should have been taken years ago. Below is a statement issued by Newman’s office earlier today.
As the DOJ report implies, DHS was an accomplice in the rights violations caused by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. DHS enabled Sheriff Arpaio to conduct his reign of terror, and expansion of the Maricopa Sheriff’s approach led to SB 1070 and to the potential Arizonification of the country. Today, the Department of Justice again acted to clean up the mess caused by failed DHS policies that enlist local police into the business of enforcing unjust immigration laws. It is time for DHS to stop contributing to the civil rights crisis described in the DOJ report and end the programs that made Arpaio’s crimes possible."
For Colorlines.com’s past coverage on 287(g) Colorlines.com/tag/287g.