PHOENIX - Ninety-two Maricopa County jail officers turned in their ICE badges on Wednesday afternoon in front of Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a news conference.
The badges allowed the officers to check an inmate's immigration status. That power was revoked last week after the Department of Justice stated the sheriff's office violated civil rights of Latinos.
"It's an insult," Arpaio said.
Currently, only one federal agent is doing the checks, he told reporters.
The Department of Homeland Security has reportedly said it will send 50 agents to do the work, but Arpaio says he has not heard anything from federal officials.
When jail officers were checking inmates' status, an average of 15 illegal immigrants were found daily, Arpaio said. Under the one federal agent, only one illegal immigrant has been found so far.
Homeland Security's decision wasn't the first time Arpaio's federal immigration powers were cut.
In October 2009, Immigration and Customs Enforcement stripped Arpaio of his power to let 100 deputies make federal immigration arrests, but still allowed his jail officers to determine the immigration status of people in jail.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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