Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff Joe Arpaio has identified the next target in his crackdown on illegal immigrants: convicted criminals on probation, says the Arizona Republic. Nearly 2,000 people on criminal probation are undocumented immigrants. “We’re going to do something with it,” he said. The sheriff plans to track those immigrants to their homes or workplaces – using information they provide to the county department of probation, or records from the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The latest initiative comes on the heels of the controversial arrests in recent weeks of undocumented day laborers and corn vendors. Hector Yturralde, president of the We are America coalition, an immigrant-advocacy group, called Arpaio’s latest plan “ridiculous.” He said, “I don’t find undocumented immigrants a threat to the country. They look like me. They speak like me. I don’t see them as a threat. What I do see is, criminals out there that should be targeted. No, they’re being left alone.” Yturralde said taxpayers would be better served if Arpaio poured more resources into catching violent criminals. Arpaio’s enforcement targeting illegal migrants began last year, when he began specially training 160 deputies to enforce federal immigration laws.