Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, concluded Operation Desert Sky with the seizure of more than 6000 pounds of marijuana and the apprehension of 250 undocumented aliens according to a news release on May 12, 2011. The month long operation which finished on April 29, 2011, targeted the influx of illegal aliens and narcotics on the southern border of Maricopa County.
Arizona continues to be at the forefront of a large portion of discussions and disputes concerning illegal immigration. Lawsuits are filed at a frenzied pace and tempers flare. President Obama and Department of Homeland Security(DHS) Secretary Napolitano emphatically assert the enforcement of Immigration Laws is the responsibility of the Federal Government while Sheriff Arpaio and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer openly state the Federal Government is failing to adequately enforce the Immigration laws in direct contrast to the claims of President Obama’s Administration.
Sheriff Arpaio, who is the target of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is undeterred in his relentless efforts to enforce Arizona State laws relating to aliens illegally in the United States. Governor Brewer butts heads with the administration on illegal immigration and, like Sheriff Arpaio, is a burr in their collective saddle. Investigations of Sheriff Arpaio by DHS linger yet both Sheriff Arpaio and Governor Brewer continue to be steadfast illegal immigration opponents.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a branch of the DHS and responsible for apprehending aliens illegally already within the United States. The U.S. Border Patrol, another component of DHS, is responsible for apprehending subjects crossing surreptitiously into the United States.
Sheriff Arpaio’s apprehension of 250 undocumented aliens and the seizure of more than 6000 pounds of marijuana during the month-long Operation Desert Sky in Maricopa County, which is NOT contiguous with the Mexican Border, is a slap in the face to both the U.S. Border Patrol and to ICE.
The month long operation suggests efforts by the Border Patrol are less than successful in their struggles to enforce the laws of the Federal Government relating to Immigration.
Recent news releases have indicated the U.S. Border Patrol is coaxing agents to ignore apprehensions because apprehensions indicate failure to deter illegal immigration. Sheriff Arpaio’s operations, resulting in such significant seizures, indicates the failure of the U.S. Border Patrol to adequately execute their duties.
The news release of this successful operation is more than a burr in President Obama’s saddle; it is truly closer to an infected sliver in DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s backside.
Sheriff Arpaio is not about to cower under scrutiny by the Obama Administration and his open opposition to the President is cheered by many across the United States.