Joel Waldman, KGUN-TV (Tucson), September 5, 2010
Letting illegal immigrants go free? Hard to believe but that could be the new federal mandate if a proposed ICE policy change is approved.
Here’s the idea: If authorities pull someone over for a traffic stop and discover they are in the country illegally, authorities would be forced to let the illegal immigrant go without calling federal agents unless the individual is a convicted felon.
Sheriff Tony Estrada of Santa Cruz County says nothing in southern Arizona would change if the detention policy changed. He says that’s because his deputies turn these kinds of cases over to Border Patrol anyway.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is very upset about possible policy changes to ICE that read in part, “Immigration officers should not issue detainers against an alien charged only with a traffic-related misdemeanor unless or until the alien is convicted.”
Ariz. Sen. Jon Kyl weighed in, along with Texas Sen. John Cornyn, writing this to Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano:
“Based on our review of these memos, we are concerned that these new policies would circumvent, rather than promote the enforcement of, immigration laws pertaining to illegal aliens.”