The Arizona Republic's immigration reporter, Daniel Gonzalez, came across some interesting stats today from the Phoenix Police Department's Professional Standards Bureau that show cops aren't asking arrestees about immigration status, like they're supposed to.
Police put the rule into effect in May of 2008 after months of controversial debate (which we covered in our September 30, 2008 article, "Police State.") But cops put immigration holds on only 81 people last year. By comparison, more than 7,200 people arrested by Phoenix police and booked into the Maricopa County jail were later found by jail staff to be illegal immigrants.
"The disparity indicates that Phoenix officers are not following the department's year-old immigration policy," writes Gonzalez.
The police union believes the requirement is redundant because of the immigration checks in jail. Knowing the strong feelings union president Mark Spencer has about the problems with illegal immigrants, we imagine he'd say something if this oversight is leading to a new version of the "catch-and-release" game.
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