Report: With ouster of Sheriff Joe, Phoenix becomes sanctuary for illegal aliens

by WorldTribune Staff, August 23, 2017

Phoenix became a safe haven for illegal aliens after a liberal group met with the city’s new police chief, the government watchdog group, Judicial Watch reported.

After a closed-door session in May between Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Will Goana, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona, the Phoenix Police Department quietly implemented a new policy banning officers from contacting the feds after arresting illegal aliens and forbidding them from asking about suspects’ immigration status, according to Judicial Watch, which obtained records of the police department’s new immigration procedures.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams. / AP

“The new order violates key provisions of a state law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and leaves the city vulnerable to costly lawsuits,” Judicial Watch said.

The actions were taken after the Obama administration’s Department of Justice pressed criminal charges against popular Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“Sheriff Joe” was defeated last November in his  bid for a seventh consecutive term after Democratic hedge fund billionaire George Soros pumped tens of thousands of dollars into a campaign that branded Arpaio a “stain on the justice system” in the state.

Arpaio was convicted last month of violating a court order to stop detaining people on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally.

At a rally in Phoenix last night President Donald Trump saluted “Sheriff Joe” who got an extended standing ovation from the enthusiastic crowd.

According to the records obtained by Judicial Watch, Goana, who also lobbies the Arizona legislature on civil liberties issues, met privately with Chief Williams on May 9. Representatives for an ACLU offshoot known as People Power followed up with a meeting request on May 16 to discuss the Phoenix Police Department’s immigration policy changes with Chief Williams, the records show.

The meeting occurred on June 9, about a week after Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher met with People Power “and gave the group a glowing review,” Judicial Watch said. “In his assessment, the city manager describes the leftist group as ‘one of the most reasonable groups I’ve talked with’ and says it consisted of ‘a former high school teacher, a magazine editor, 2 attorneys, a massage therapist, and two Hispanic advocates who I’ve never seen before.’ ”

On June 29, Chief Williams had a follow-up meeting with the ACLU and People Power regarding the changes to the immigration policy, the records show.

“Thanks in large part to the group’s efforts, the 3,000 officers in the Phoenix Police Department have been stripped of discretion from addressing the crime of illegal immigration or using sound judgment when it involves suspects thought to be in the U.S. illegally,” Judicial Watch said. “No other federal crime in department policy has those restrictions.”

Officers continue to have the discretion to contact the FBI, Secret Service, ATF, Postal Inspectors, U.S. Marshalls and DEA without fear of violating department policy.

Judicial Watch reported earlier this year that the newly elected sheriff in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, was releasing hundreds of criminal illegal immigrants – including violent offenders – from county jail facilities to protect them from deportation.

Paul Penzone is the current sheriff of Maricopa County, replacing longtime Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio was fund guilty of criminal contempt last month for violating a court order to stop detaining people on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally.

While not announcing a pardon of Arpaio during a rally in Phoenix on Aug. 22, President Donald Trump did say: “I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine.”

CNN reported on Aug. 23 that the White House has prepared the paperwork for Trump to pardon Arpaio.

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