Recently elected Democratic Sheriff Paul Penzone of Maricopa County, Arizona has released a crucial safety measure designed to keep illegal immigrant criminals off of the streets. The consequences of this decision, however, could be dire.
ABC 15/Associated Press
"For years, immigrants being released from jails in Phoenix would routinely be kept locked up an extra couple days to give federal authorities time to check their immigration status and launch deportation proceedings."
This procedure, common among many law enforcement agencies is known as an "immigration hold" or "ICE detainee," allows the additional time necessary for immigration authorities to prove illegal presence in the United States and begin deportation proceedings.
Already, the impact of this decision is being felt across the State of Arizona with hundreds of illegal immigrant or "guest" inmates having been released in the last 10 days, Sheriff Penzone said.
The trouble is that the mainstream media is largely not reporting the unbelievable scale of this breach in a critical legal fire wall designed to protect the public. According to an anonymous source in the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, the "DPS doesn't have a jail so if we arrest anyone we go to the county jail. Same with most police they have jail's but everyone ends up at county."
Maricopa County, with a population of over four million, accounts for two-thirds of the total population of Arizona. Thus, according to the anonymous source, the vast majority of prisoners processed by state of Arizona will be subject to the new Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) policy which regards illegal immigrants merely as "guests."
The immigration hold policy put in place by former Sheriff Joe Arpaio served as a vital bottleneck that allowed immigration authorities the time necessary to attempt to stay ahead of the overwhelming flood of arrested illegal immigrants.
Sheriff Penzone, however, has breached a protective barrier of our nation as quickly and effectively as if he simply took out a section of Border fence. In a jealous drive to reverse the policies of his predecessor, Penzone has created what Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) called an "immediate, dangerous change" in a statement on Saturday:
"MCSO has implemented a policy which will undoubtedly result in dangerous criminal aliens being released to the street to re-victimize the innocent citizens of that community. Additionally, the new policy puts ICE officers at a higher risk as more fugitive operations teams will need to arrest criminal aliens outside of the secure confines of the county jail."
Sheriff Penzone wants to make a name for himself, it seems. How much blood will it take to inscribe his name in history?