Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Wednesday made a show of his detention officers turning in their federal credentials to conduct immigration screenings in Maricopa County, Ariz., jails, reports the Arizona Republic. Ninety-two detention officers joined Arpaio at a news conference where they turned in their ICE credentials. But federal officials say immigration enforcement at the jails will not change following a decision to revoke the authorization and take over the duties themselves.
The Sheriff’s Office has had an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement since 2007 that authorized detention officers to conduct immigration screenings on every inmate booked. Arpaio’s officers screened nearly 475,000 inmates since the agreement took effect, placing immigration detainers on about 44,000 inmates that prevent them from leaving jail until federal officials have reviewed their files. Federal officials removed that authority last week in the wake of a Justice Department report that accused the Sheriff’s Office of violating civil rights and discriminating against Latino residents and inmates.