Feathered Bastard

Worse Than Joe Arpaio? Tucson Police Department Turns Over Mom and Dad To Border Patrol as Kids Cry

Standard practice by the Tucson PD, as captured by Three Sonorans

Although activists are normally up in arms about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio separating mothers from their children and otherwise breaking up families during his anti-immigration sweeps, this video by Tucson's Three Sonorans blog reveals that things may be even worse in the Old Pueblo.

In the blog post, the author states that it was just a dad who was taken away by Border Patrol after a routine traffic stop by the Tucson Police Department. But there's a woman being taken away by BP agents as well.

This is what TPD PIO Chuck Rydzak told me about the stop via e-mail:

"Officers from the Tucson Police Department were on routine patrol when they observed the noted vehicle being operated without any brake and tail lights. Due to the defective equipment the vehicle was stopped.  During the interview of the driver he produced a Mexican Drivers License but no other information as to residency or immigration status.

As per normal practice Border Patrol was called to the scene to ascertain his status. Upon Border Patrol's arrival within 10-15 minutes it was discovered that both the driver and his wife were undocumented and they were taken into custody. The children were released to their Aunt who also arrived on the scene."

Note the phrase "as per normal practice." I called Rydzak to follow up, and he told me this is standard operating procedure for the TPD when encountering the undocumented. In fact, it's part of TPD's general orders, specifically general order 2119.1.

Rydzak estimated that this order has been in place for about five years now. Guess the nativists can't complain of Tucson being a "sanctuary city." Rydzak said such turnovers to the BP are routine and insisted that it had nothing to do with SB 1070, or what's left of it, after it went into effect July 29,

He also said that he could not release the names of the mom and dad to me because no arrest had been made.

True to form, the Border Patrol advised me that they couldn't release the names either. However, Border Patrol Agent Colleen Agle of the BP's Tucson Sector explained that the individuals have the right to speak to their attorney and their consulate.

Still, talk about a media blackout. You'd think this pair had been "disappeared" like in Argentina during the '70s.

A public records request to BP might turn up the names, but that will take time. Rydzyk said there was a report written on the stop by the TPD officer, but that TPD would normally redact the names in such an instance.

At least we know that a video I blogged about on August 6, showing another turnover to la migra by TPD, was not an aberration. However, the question remains whether or not TPD as stepped this practice up in the wake of 1070.

All the same, how odd for a city that's considered to be one of the most liberal in Arizona and is about 40 percent Hispanic, according to a U.S. Census Bureau analysis.

And I thought Maricopa County was bad...

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons