Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says that the county’s top prosecutor is erecting barriers to enforcing a 5-year-old state law prohibiting immigrant smuggling and thus caused cases against 32 illegal immigrants to collapse.
Unlike other police bosses, Arpaio charges immigrants who are being smuggled into the country as conspirators of their smugglers.
The sheriff said Tuesday that County Attorney Rick Romley is requiring federal officials to certify that those arrested in such cases are in the country illegally, when Romley’s predecessor never made such a requirement.
Romley says he sent the 32 cases back to Arpaio to obtain records necessary for proving them in court.
Arpaio says the 32 immigrants were turned over to federal agents.