“I’m not for sanctuary cities,” said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Lamb. “That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.”
Located south of Phoenix, Arizona, Pinal County is home to 450,000 people of all colors. When Lamb was elected Sheriff in 2017, he started a cooperative program in which his jail deputies are also trained to also function as ICE agents.
Unlike sanctuary cities where law enforcement officers are not allowed to ask foreign criminals about their immigration status, jail deputies in Pinal County regularly question and determine the immigration status of inmates. Criminal aliens can then easily go from the courthouse or jail directly into ICE custody for deportation.
“Ultimately their goal is the same as ours – public safety,” said David Marin, an ICE director in Los Angeles. “Those sheriffs and law enforcement agencies realize that by turning over these criminal aliens to us they’re not going to be able to go out and commit additional crimes.”
The ICE 287g program allows local police to enforce immigration laws. It’s something that the Trump administration is looking to expand into as many cities as possible.
As Lamb puts it, “My job is to keep the people of Pinal County safe. The 287g program allows me to make sure I’m not putting criminals back in the community.”
“As trained ICE agents, the deputies are able to tap into Department of Homeland Security computers and determine an inmates’ legal status. And unlike sanctuary jurisdictions, the county honors ICE warrants and detainers and will give ICE a call when an inmate is preparing to leave,” according to a report about the program on Fox News.
“This county cares about illegal immigration and it’s my job to make sure that we work with our federal partners to uphold the law,” Lamb said.
Border Patrol works closely with the county’s anti-smuggling unit, according to Deputy Eddie Joseph.
“They back us up and we help them,” said Joseph, who patrols Interstates across Pinal County in an unmarked truck, looking for suspicious activity that might tip him off to the presence of smugglers.
“We see a lot of drug and human smuggling” Joseph said. “You can see here the foot tracks in the sand. They’re probably a few days old.”
The U.S. Mexican border is approximately 80 miles away — a week-long trek — and piles of discarded items from illegals are strewn throughout the desert.
Immigration is the federal government’s business, according to the Trump administration. Local officials aren’t supposed to decide whom to deport.
“It’s a slippery slope, when you get into that,” Lamb argued. “You can’t start determining this person meets a criteria and this one doesn’t. The bottom line is, it’s illegal (to be here). If someone is illegal, it’s against the law and it’s my job to uphold the law.”
“It’s troubling for us because here’s a criminal alien, somebody that we can use our unique authorities to not only remove them from the community,” said Marin, “but ultimately remove them from the country and again there’s law enforcement agencies that are just letting them go.”
H/T: Fox News
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