PHOENIX — The toughest part of SB 1070, recently upheld by the Supreme Court, goes into effect later this week.
The part ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court is among the most controversial of the law’s provisions. It requires an officer to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested, if there’s reasonable suspicion that person is in the country illegally.
Officers will begin to enforce that section, despite Immigration and Customs Enforcement scaling back its Phoenix unit that takes calls from local police to respond to, identify and deport illegal immigrants.
Jimmy Chavez, president of the Arizona Police Association, said he has no concerns about ICE not responding as quickly to calls.
“If [a person] commit a crime, then obviously they’re going to jail, but if it’s a civil offense and all the identification is there and there’s no problems with who this person is, then we’re going to go about our business,” he said.
Chavez said ICE’s decision to reallocate personnel is “not going to cause us any concern.”
Levi Bolton, incoming executive director of the Arizona Police Association, said officers are not required to call ICE when dealing with illegal immigrants, but that varies by department.
For example, Bolton said DPS could make a traffic stop on a Valley freeway and find drugs in the car. Regardless of suspicions as to the immigration status of those arrested, they can be taken directly to jail for the crime without a call to ICE.
The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association said Phoenix officers will call ICE on all arrests for traffic stops involving suspected illegal immigrants.
ICE recently determined that the 287(g) task force agreements that allowed trained local officers to carry out some immigration enforcement duties are not useful in states with laws like SB 1070. ICE rescinded agreements with DPS, Mesa Police, Phoenix Police and several other agencies.
However, ICE remains involved in some cases.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations received eight calls to its Law Enforcement Agency Response unit in Phoenix between June 25 and July 2,” said Amber Cargile, an ICE spokeswoman. “These calls resulted in the arrest of 38 aliens on immigration violations.”