Arizona Sheriffs Association wants reimbursement for housing illegal aliens

Aug 6, 2015, 5:14 AM
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu speaks at a news conference in Apache Junction, Ariz., Thursday Nov 24, 2011.

The Arizona Sheriffs Association asked the feds Wednesday to reimburse them for housing illegal aliens in county jails on behalf of the Federal Government.

This is part of a national campaign through the National Sheriffs Association called “Give the Feds a Courthouse PEP Talk”. PEP refers to the Priority Enforcement Program which is what allows Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security to ask county sheriffs to detain these illegal immigrants.

According to an open letter signed by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, the two main goals are to increase reimbursement levels for the county sheriffs and to broaden eligibility categories for deportation by increasing communication.

Arizona spent $30 million dollars last year detaining these illegal aliens on behalf of ICE and were only reimbursed for $1.5 million of that, according to Wilmot.

“We’re not even counting the costs that are associated with the county attorneys office, the courts, the public defender’s office the state as a whole,” Wilmot said.

The Sheriffs Association also wants more  information exchanged between the county sheriffs’ offices and ICE about what is happening with these detainees and when they will be released.

“ICE has been releasing these criminal aliens into the communities we as Sheriffs are sworn to protect,” the letter said. “They have refused to notify us of when they are being released and what type of criminal records they have.”



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Arizona Sheriffs Association wants reimbursement for housing illegal aliens