The Obama administration will stop cooperating with Arizona law enforcement officials, and will only send officers to pick up undocumented aliens if they meet Immigration and Customs Enforcement Guidelines.
The decision comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Arizona v. United States ruling that invalidated most of Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration law. While the ruling left in place rules allowing local law enforcement to check the immigration status of people arrested or detained by police, the decision by the Obama administration means that many of those identified by Arizona officials will not be deported.
The Obama administration had previously indicated that it intended to wind down the 287(g) program, which essentially deputizes local law enforcement to work as deputies monitoring immigration for the federal government. The program, which was begun under the administration of President George W. Bush, has been criticized by pro-immigration activists. The Obama administration had already canceled its agreement with the department of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
While the Obama administration had been planning to phase out the program, today’s decision to cancel agreements with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, as well as agreements with the Pinal and Pima County Sheriffs’ Departments and the Phoenix Police Department, effectively neutralizes the effects of the remaining section of S.B. 1070.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, lashed out at the decision by the Obama administration.
“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised,” Brewer said in a statement. “The Obama administration has fought the people of Arizona at every turn – downplaying the threat that a porous border poses to our citizens, filing suit in order to block our State from protecting itself, unilaterally granting immunity to tens of thousands of illegal aliens living in our midst, and now this. Still, the disarmament of Arizona’s 287(g) agreements is a new low, even for this administration.”
The statement struck a much different tone than one she issued earlier in the day, in which she declared the Supreme Court’s ruling a “victory.”
Image Credit: Nevele Otseog