As Senate Bill 1070 is scheduled to go into effect Thursday, July 29, law enforcement agencies across the state are preparing and briefing officers on the new law, as well as the correct ways to enforce it.
SB 1070 requires police officers, after making lawful contact, to determine the status of people if there is reasonable suspicion they are illegal immigrants and to arrest anyone unable to provide documentation proving they are in the country legally.
It also makes it a crime to transport an illegal immigrant and to hire day laborers off the street.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is working with the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office to prepare its policy on the new law and find out what parameters its office needs for a criminal filing.
Since YCSO uses the 287(g) program, not much is changing for the department at this time.
The 287(g) program is one component under the Immigration and Custom Enforcement umbrella of services and programs offered for assistance to local law enforcement officers.
ICE developed the program in response to the widespread interest from law enforcement agencies who requested ICE assistance through the 287(g) program, which trains officers to enforce immigration law as authorized through the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“All people arrested in the county are processed through the 287(g) program to check for immigration already,” YCSO Media and Crime Prevention Coordinator Dwight D’Evelyn stated, and this has been the case for more than two years.
Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training, which is giving police departments some insight on the law and how to enforce it, mandates in its policy there be no intention for law enforcement to questions victims, witnesses or others not initially involved in criminal activity.
D’Evelyn said this is contrary to what has been reported and added there must be a separate reasonable suspicion to allow deputies to investigate immigration status in these instances.
Training of YCSO deputies is expected to begin in early August once policy is in place, D’Evelyn wrote in a statement.
Sedona Police Department Police Chief Ray Cota said the department is preparing to have its officers fully trained for instances resulting in the enforcement of SB 1070. The police department will review and adopt one of the model policies later this week that was created by the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police.
SPD will immediately start training its officers on the policy it chooses to use, Cota said, and it should not take more than a few days to bring all of them up to speed.
Standards and requirements from Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training will be included in whatever policy the police department decides to adopt, he said.
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