MAY 21, 2014

Sheriff Arpaio: rate of recidivism among illegal immigrants arrested remains disturbingly high

Sheriff keeps promise to continue to investigate homeland security deportation policies
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PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio released figures for March and April 2014 that revealed the percentage of illegal aliens booked into the county jail who had previously been arrested on other charges is about 40 percent, or two out of every five individuals.

The Sheriff had previously released the results of a 3-month review by his office that showed that one out of three illegal immigrants arrested by law enforcement in Maricopa County and booked into jail had previously been arrested in a wide range of serious criminal charges – most multiple times, many more than a dozen – despite being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). At that time, 419 individuals of a total of 1,348 illegal aliens, or 31 percent, fell into the prior arrest category. In response, Sheriff Arpaio sent US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson a letter, demanding an explanation as to why ICE seemed to be violating its own policies by releasing illegal immigrant booked into jail. ICE replied with what appeared to be a form letter, providing no real answers at all.

Now the percentages have risen by as much as 10 percent, with more and more illegal immigrants with criminal histories either being let back onto the streets by ICE or deported, only to quickly return through our evidently still-porous borders. March saw 394 “detainers” placed on illegal aliens, with no fewer than 163 having been previously booked into the system, or 41.4 percent Those 163 individuals with prior detainers together accounted for 289 prior bookings.

In April 388 arrestees were given detainers, with 145 having had prior bookings, or 37.4 percent. Together, the 145 individuals had a total of 251 prior bookings.

As if any further proof of the failure of ICE’s system is needed, consider this: Of the 163 illegal aliens detained in March and the 145 detained in April, no less than 76 had previously been in our jail. Thus, even in these snapshot looks at how ICE is disposing of criminally charged illegal aliens, we find examples again and again of repeat offenders.

“ICE might prefer to continue to pretend this situation doesn’t exist for its own political reasons,” said Sheriff Arpaio, “but this is a serious law enforcement issue, with my deputies, officers from other departments, and every citizen of Maricopa County, having to confront these criminals. And it remains a financial issue as well, as this revolving door costs taxpayers real money.

As the Sheriff previously stated upon first releasing the results of the first 3-month review, “This entire issues puts a spotlight on the federal government’s hiding its true intentions on immigration, and I will continue to press for answers until the people of Maricopa County can be satisfied that the Obama Administration is acting in their best interests, and not using immigration for cheap political gains.”

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