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Arizona not affected by sanctuary cities crackdown

Posted at 4:35 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 19:21:25-05

A day after U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced a significant escalation in the fight against sanctuary cities, local federal officials said Arizona will not see any increase in ICE raids.

"I am not expecting any action in the near future," U.S. Attorney Michael Bailey said.

Bailey says since January, 1,074 people were charged with illegally re-entering the United States through Arizona. Officials say 336 of those people had previous non-immigration criminal records including 67 people who had convictions for violent crimes.

There are no sanctuary cities in Arizona, making it that much harder for undocumented immigrants to hide. Bailey says, "In large part, we are getting cooperation from every state and local jurisdiction."

Since October, more than 10,000 people have been deported from Arizona. It's an average of 88 people a day.

"We are continuing daily to conduct targeting enforcement operations," Albert Carter, the Acting Field Supervisor for ICE, said. "I think we've been successful this year."

None of this is news to Aliento - an organization which helps undocumented immigrants navigate and often avoid contact with ICE In recent weeks.

The governor, Republicans in the legislature, the President and now Attorney General Barr have all gone after sanctuary cities.

"So a lot is political," Aliento's Jose Patino says. "But it feels like there is this fear increasing."

After watching the U.S. Attorney's press conference, Patino says there is some good news for the undocumented, "there are no new ICE raids."