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Babeu says Obama immigration policy creating ‘roadside amnesty’

July 21, 2012
Brian Wright, Maricopa Monitor

President Barack Obama’s policy changes toward immigration last month have left Pinal County sheriff Paul Babeu frustrated.

Directives from the president that have limited what Arizona law enforcement can do regarding enforcement of immigration policy amount to “roadside amnesty” for illegal immigrants, Babeu said.

The Department of Homeland Security ended 287(g) agreements with state law enforcement; those agreements allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement to delegate authority to local agencies for immigration enforcement.

Now, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies have to call ICE when they stop or detain a suspected illegal immigrant and ask if ICE wants to take action against that person.

Obama’s policy shift also stipulates any illegal immigrants in the country who are 30 years of age or younger and can prove they have lived in America for five continuous years won’t be deported unless they have committed a felony.

That doesn’t sit well with Babeu, whose Sheriff’s Office has already dealt with the repercussions of the change in policy.

On June 27, a PCSO deputy stopped the vehicle of a 17-year-old Hispanic male near Florence because it was going 85 mph in a 35 mph zone. The driver said he didn’t have a valid driver’s license, that he was born in Mexico and that his parents were in the country illegally.

After the deputy notified an ICE representative of the situation, the representative said the agency was not interested in the the driver because he claimed to have lived in the United States for the majority of his life and had not committed a felony.

The driver was cited for two misdemeanors and released to his mother.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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