The Phoenix New
s Times reports that Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona may have jumped the gun when railing on the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind its agreement with his Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) that allows Arpaio’s deputies to act as immigration agents. Arpaio was publicly furious about DHS’ move, but was reportedly pleased that the new agreement would allow his agency to continue screening the immigration status of its inmates.
However, the Phoenix New
s Times claims that the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with ICE not only forbids Arpaio from discussing the agreement without coordinating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it actually hasn’t been signed by anyone except for himself and a representative of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. The new agreement is still awaiting the signatures of Assistant Secretary for ICE John Morton and Chairman of the Board of Maricopa County Supervisors:
The new agreement will be on the agenda for Wednesday’s Supervisors’ meeting and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox has already said that she won’t make a decision on it until she speaks with Morton, but wishes that “ICE had just suspended the whole nine yards of it.” Frank Sharry of America’s Voice offered harsher words:
“My take on Arpaio re-signing is the following…DHS should be ashamed of themselves. Despite attempts to make it look like they are reining him in, the fact remains the Obama Administration is extending federal authority — and therefore its legitimacy — to the Bull Connor of our generation. It seems to me the more sensible course of action would be to suspend all aspects of any 287g agreement with Arpaio, at least while the Department of Justice is conducting an investigation into his department’s widespread violations of civil rights.“
It would also seem sensible not to re-sign an agreement that Arpaio is already flagrantly in breach of, particularly when he’s indicated that he is going to go ahead and continue enforcing immigration laws whether or not DHS grants him the authority to do so.