Ariz. Posse to Arrest Illegal Immigrants

Amanda Lee Myers, AP, May 4, 2006

PHOENIX—A posse of 100 volunteers and sheriff’s deputies will patrol the Phoenix area and arrest any illegal immigrants, the county sheriff said.

The group likely will be deployed across parts of Maricopa County by the weekend, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday.

Volunteers will be drawn from the department’s 3,000-member posse, whose members are trained and are often former deputies.

“It’s important to send the message out to stay in Mexico and don’t come roaming around here hoping you’re going to get amnesty,” said Arpaio, who in years past gained notoriety for putting inmates on chain gangs and issuing them striped uniforms and pink underwear.

Arpaio’s deputies have already arrested about 120 illegal immigrants using a new state smuggling law.

“We’re going to arrest any illegal who violates this new law,” he said. “I’m not going to turn these people over to federal authorities so they can have a free ride back to Mexico. I’ll give them a free ride into the county jail.”

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