Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Local Enforcement of Immigration Laws

From the New York Times:

To people who say round up more illegal immigrants, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County [Arizona] here has an answer: send out the posse.

On Wednesday, the posse, a civilian force of 300 volunteers, many of them retired deputies, are to fan out over desert backcountry, watching for smugglers and the people they guide into these parts.

Already, a small team of deputies roams the human-trafficking routes to enforce a nine-month-old state law that makes smuggling people a felony and effectively authorizes local police forces to enforce immigration law.

Not only do deputies charge the smugglers, but many of their customers have also been jailed. That has drawn criticism from several quarters, even the politician who sponsored the law and has generally supported Sheriff Arpaio's position.


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