The Phoenix police department, under a new sheriff, has instituted sanctuary policies that Judicial Watch says are violating the state’s constitution. Since Paul Penzone took office this year, he’s done everything he could to thwart immigration laws and protect criminal residents.
The new police procedures are in direct contrast to clauses that were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012. In Arizona v. United States, the court affirmed two important sections of the state’s legislation concerning illegal aliens.
The laws were passed in 2010, but the Obama administration and other open borders groups wanted to prevent them from taking effect. Essentially, the first law allowed law enforcement officials to ask about citizenship status if “reasonable suspicion” existed. The other statute permitted police officers to directly transport illegals to federal custody.
However, the new sheriff doesn’t agree with the law and is doing his utmost to circumvent it. The Phoenix Police Department’s policy strips the constitutional rights of law enforcement officials and obstructs them from doing their job.
It prevents law officials from asking questions about citizenship saying, “Officers must not ask immigration related questions or verify immigration status while conducting traffic enforcement unless required by state law as specified above in sections 1.E.(1) and (2) of this order.”
It clarifies those orders by adding that those sections refer only to “a person [who] is under arrest based on probable cause” or “a person [who] is lawfully stopped/detained for a state or local crime and only when the officer develops further reasonable suspicion the detained person is unlawfully present in the United States.”
Judicial watch correctly interprets those provisions as a violation under the state constitution.
The other new rule keeps officers from contacting the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without a specific authorization from a single person in Arizona’s Violent Crimes Bureau. One veteran police officer explained that new procedure will “bottleneck the process.”
Apparently, that’s exactly what Penzone has in mind. When he took office, he immediately began releasing prisoners from Maricopa County jails, calling them “guests” instead of criminal residents. He also removed the tent jail that had temporarily housed many criminals. Reports confirmed that Penzone freed approximately 400 offenders every 10 days.
Many of the “guests” he released were violent criminals, with felony charges. Of course, if one of those convicts happens to harm someone again, pin-head Penzone won’t be culpable by law. A high-ranking federal law enforcement official stationed in Arizona said, “There’s no telling how many criminals he’s putting on the streets.”
His new policies directly violate the laws of the state and hamper the officers, making the entire county more hazardous for law-abiding citizens. The provision refers to criminal residents as a “person unlawfully present” instead of “illegal alien.”
The county has had a long-term partnership with federal ICE officials. However, that all ended when Penzone took office. Phoenix has about 3,000 law enforcement professionals who used to be able to apply “sound judgement” concerning illegal residents.
No longer will police officers be allowed to contact ICE, although they can still directly communicate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Secret Service, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Drug enforcement Agency (DEA) without repercussions.
If an illegal resident commits a criminal offense, police cannot document the crime in a report or send the criminal to ICE for deportation. The new policy requires that taxpayers foot the bill for mandatory booking in the county jail. Perhaps that way, Penzone can simply release violent aliens back onto the streets like he has before.
The regulation states, “if there is a federal criminal charge and the person is under arrest for a state and/or local charge/s…the person will be booked into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office…”
This is just wrong. What is the matter with Maricopa residents? Maybe illegals voted in the sheriff’s election and helped put Penzone in office.
Regardless of how he got in, the new police procedures are highly unconstitutional. Stripping the ability of law enforcement personnel to make immediate judgement and actually enforce the law is reprehensible. The policy must be changed immediately.
Ignoring the Supreme Court to enact a personal brand of justice isn’t a very smart move.