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Napolitano cuts Arpaio's access to ICE programs

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Napolitano cuts Arpaio's access to ICE programs

In the wake of Justice Department allegations of widespread discrimination by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the Department of Homeland Security has canceled an agreement that allows MCSO to detain illegal immigrants after an initial arrest for another crime.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, said Thursday that the department's 287(g) agreement with Maricopa County was terminated immediately, and that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's MCSO would no longer have access to the Secure Communities program.

"Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust. DHS will not be a party to such practices," Napolitano said in a written statement.

The 287(g) program allows local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of those they arrest, and hold them in jail for transfer to federal authorities.

Restricting the sheriff's access to Secure Communities means that MCSO won't get immigration data back when they run an FBI check.

DHS "will utilize federal resources for the purpose of identifying and detaining those individuals who meet U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement's (ICE) immigration enforcement priorities," Napolitano said.

The federal agency "will continue to enforce federal immigration laws in Maricopa County in smart, effective ways that focus our resources on criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor," she said.

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