Immigration Attorney Jose Pe�alosa praised Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on her decision to end the Secure Communities Program (287g agreement) with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office.
The decision by the DHS came after the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department issued an announcement on the investigative findings on a federal investigation for MCSO's civil rights violations and racial profiling.
The Secure Communities Program also known as 287g, in which deputies are cross-trained by federal authorities to identify illegal immigrants booked into jail, has been removing tens of thousands of immigrants from the country. The DHS previously withdrew Sheriff Arpaio's street 287(g) authority, but allowed him to retain his 287(g) authority within the Maricopa County Jail system. With today's decision, the DHS completely removed all 287(g) authority from the MCSO due to patterns of abuse, discriminatory policing practices and civil rights violations found by the Department of Justice.
"Over the past several years, I've shared with my family, friends, fellow attorneys, and clients that Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office have systematically abused their constitutional authority. I've also made the same legal arguments to the Arizona immigration courts, the Department of Homeland Security, municipal courts, and the Maricopa County Superior Courts but to no avail. Today, the world can see the objective evidence that documents both the abuse of power and the rule of law," said Lawyer Jose Pe�alosa.
Diverse groups and organizations have filed federal complaints on abuse of power and civil rights violations from MCSO through the years. Today, December the 15th, 2011, the DOJ said that after a 3 year investigation it was found Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has engaged in what it was described as a "culture of bias involving racial profiling and widespread pattern of discrimination of Latinos".
"Sheriff Arpaio's arrogant abuse of power has resulted in an unknown amount of meritless arrests which has served to burden our state court system, and the federal immigration court system, while simultaneously burdening the taxpayers with the cost of his blind ambition", concluded Immigration attorney Jose Pe�alosa.
Attorney Penalosa is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, State Bar of Colorado, and he is a member of the American Immigration Lawyer's Association. He also serves as a volunteer lawyer for Mi Familia Vota, Proyecto Nehemias, Maya Chapin and the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition (ADAC), among others. He is frequently asked to participate as an expert in academic panels, and for the local and national media with regard to immigration law matters.