Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona Sheriff from Maricopa County, arrested a 6-year-old undocumented immigrant on Friday. The move came the same day President Obama announced a new policy halting deportations for young undocumented immigrants.
The Arizona Republic has the story:
The girl was with 15 other people believed to be in the country illegally who were traveling to the Midwest and northeast United States, said Chris Hegstrom, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
“She’s been turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to try to determine where she’s from. She told us she’s from El Salvador. That’s what she told us,” he said.
The arrest took place Friday night at an undisclosed location in northern Maricopa County…
The sheriff said his deputies arresting child suspected of being an illegal immigrant the same day Obama implemented the policy is a coincidence. But if more illegal children enter the country after hearing about the new policy, Arpaio said it may not be by happenstance.
“Are we going to get more of these situations where illegals feel like now they’re going to be safe? I don’t know,” he said.
Immediately following the President’s announcement Arpaio told a local ABC affiliate that it would not impact his approach toward young undocumented immigrants. “They will still be arrested,” he said.
Arpaio is currently being sued by the Department of Justice for multiple civil rights violations. He also admitted to using taxpayer resources to pursue an investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate, a widely debunked conspiracy theory.
The Phoenix New Times disputes the Arizona Republic report and says the 6-year-old was taken into custody but never arrested. The Arizona Republic story has not been updated.