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Romley’s immigration plan differs sharply from Thomas, Arpaio policies

Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley has taken a clear policy break from his predecessor when it comes to confronting illegal immigration.

Romley on May 19 outlined a new plan that will shift the office’s resources to focus on prosecuting criminal syndicates and drug cartels instead of undocumented immigrants.

“All undocumented workers are not the same,” Romley said as he made a distinction between those whose sole offense is to be in the country illegally and those who are committing serious crimes.

The county attorney’s office has developed a four-pronged approach to tackling the problem. It’s smarter and more effective, he said.

Romley said the policies of his predecessor – Andrew Thomas, who resigned to run for state Attorney General – left a vacuum exploited by criminals and organized crime groups.

As an illustration of the policy shift, Romley said once the state’s new immigration law takes effect on July 29, his office won’t be charging those who are arrested under the law for smuggling themselves into the country.

“There will no longer be conspiracy to smuggle yourself after July 29,” he said, adding the Legislature made it a misdemeanor offense in S1070 to be in the country illegally.

Under Romley’s four-pronged plan, the office will:

• Create an Organized Crime Division that will focus on human smuggling, drug trafficking, gun running and other violet crime.

• Collaborate and share intelligence with other border states.

• Work with Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to develop standards of enforcement.

• Will create a Business Certification Program, where companies that get the certification are presumed to be in compliance with the state’s employer sanctions law.

The unveiling of the plan came on the heels of harsh criticisms from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio against Romley over the county attorney’s handling of a case involving 32 undocumented workers arrested by the sheriff’s deputies.

Romley asked for federal records to prove the suspects’ legal status, something that Thomas, the previous county attorney, never required.

During the press conference, Romley called Thomas’ past practices “sloppy” and “lazy.”

He said to prove those cases in court, there needs to be certification from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that they were in the country illegally.

But Arpaio said it takes days to get verification from ICE.

“He knows you have to kick them loose within 24 hours,” Arpaio said, which means no one would ever be charged under Romley’s requirements.

Arpaio also subscribed political motivations behind Romley’s actions. The sheriff said Romley was appointed by the county supervisors, who regularly clash with Arpaio and disapprove of Arpaio’s approach to immigration.

“He is satisfying all these people who do not like us enforcing the illegal immigration laws,” Arpaio said.

The sheriff said he won’t back down from his immigration efforts.

“If he wants to let them out of the back door, that’s something the people of Maricopa County would have to look at,” Arpaio said in reference to the upcoming election for County Attorney.

Romley said he can’t tell the sheriff what to do. If Arpaio “meets the standards” for charging a case, Romley said his office would go forward with it.



  2. How long is this recycled “politician” going to be in office?

  3. I have only one thing to say concerning Romley’s Immigration Plan…….Just how does one differentiate between the good and the bad illegals????? Just plain DUMB!

  4. DefendUrRights

    The corrupt Mexican government has taken BILLIONS of dollars from us…we have forgiven their debt over and over again…while the monies flow into the hands of a handful of corrupt Mexican politicians.

    We are not Mexico’s answer to their problems – not in any fashion or form.

    We will not bear the burden of cost to our pocketbooks, society, and sovereignty – so that Mexican citizens who CHOOSE to break our laws can exploit American citizens.

    So – Obama, Democrats, Calderon, and any politician who supports “immigration reform” (amnesty/citizenship) – listen up:

    YOU WILL BE SUMMARILY VOTED OUT…America gave amnesty in 1986 and have paid a price for that…we continue to pay. Amnesty solved NOTHING…our borders became invisible and illegals continue to pour across – at our expense.

    Arizona’s budget deficit is 3 Billion – the cost of illegals to Arizona – 3 Billion.

    Enough said.

    Read more:

  5. JuanaStanbridge

    i am an imigrant but a knowledge one, and great heart one. The fact is we all are imigrants. We should all just work together, but it so sad a lot of unhuman. Wants to mark their terrotories. what makes us better??? i know for a fact i am unique i know the facts and real stuff on both and 2 sides of the border. i born in mx and grew up usa. proud of myself. i make a huge difference in mx and usa. and ur difference is?/ i am not greedy like others who act like their somebody important but their not.
    The fact here it is me ,myself and I. Their is a lot of ignorance here we all know!! a lot people talk and blam. Without getting the fact and no education. put ur self in our feet and learn. Imigration process takes a lot money ,time, and health problem start why? because going under a lot of stress, separtion from your loves one,humans and mother nature creatures. i am not hiding my face to no one. I feed myself and I am not asking free money . We all ready taking a lot from Earth let give it back. Who give the right to make racism laws? only the ones who wants to control us. We all want to be free , like we all born. yea if their is no rules we all can be wild but is better be wild then controllers. The point here is NOT ALL THE IMIGRANTS COST, WHAT ABOUT THE MEXICAN WHO SPEND MONEY IN USA , WHERE THE TAX GOES????? . BUT I AM NOT CRYING ABOUT IT. I AM MAKING IT CLEAR. GOOD DAY TO ALL.

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