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Policy Change of Arizona’s New Sherriff Frees Illegal Criminals at Stunning Pace

Sheriff Penzone announced a policy reversal which has released criminal illegal aliens at an insane pace.

The defeat of long-time Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio by Democrat Paul Penzone last November led to a sharp reversal in how the County now interacts with the Phoenix field office of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Arpaio was known nationally for his tough crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Sheriff Penzone announced the Policy change in a press conference last week, but he’d already put it into practice. In response, ICE released a statement calling the reversal an “immediate, dangerous change.”

Enrique Lucero, ICE’s Phoenix director for enforcement and removal operations, noted:

Immigration detainers have been a successful enforcement tool to prevent the release of dangerous criminals to our streets and mitigate the possibility of future crimes being committed against the residents of our communities.”

In response, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information act (FOIA) request for specific information on the numbers of criminal illegal aliens being released under the new policy.

Federal law enforcement sources estimate that criminal illegal immigrants are being released from the County jail, on average, 40 a day on weekdays and 10 a day on weekends. The release rate in a recent 10-day period rose to over 400.

An ICE official not authorized to talk disclosed the following:

We can’t stand out there and question everyone that walks out of that jail. Even if we did, we would have to make arrests on the street, in the middle of protesters, families and picketers and that will only heighten the danger to agents.”


PHOENIX – After releasing at least 58 undocumented inmates over the last week, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone reversed course Friday night and allowed federal immigration authorities to pick up inmates inside his jails.

The undocumented inmates were being held on charges ranging from assault to extreme DUI. Many are immediately deportable under new priorities set by President Donald Trump.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said five of the released inmates had been arrested.

Even Penzone conceded the released inmates could be a danger to the community.

“That does not make me feel good,” the sheriff said in an interview Friday.

In Denver, the sheriff’s department was forced to defend its release of an undocumented immigrant who was later arrested for murder. Three years ago, Denver said it wouldn’t hold people in jails for ICE.

One week ago, Penzone abruptly eliminated his jail policy of holding undocumented inmates for up to 48 hours after their court-ordered release.

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio had instituted the so-called “courtesy holds” for ICE agents.

Penzone said he had to act quickly because Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery had provided legal advice that detaining the inmates was unconstitutional.

Via: Judicial Watch, 12News