Controversial Arizona sheriff's deputies nab 40 suspected illegal immigrants

16:19, June 10, 2010      

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Deputies in Maricopa County Sheriff's Office arrested 40 suspected illegal immigrants in a 36-hour period ending Wednesday, the sheriff's office said.

Among those arrested, 31 were transferred into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in accordance with federal law,according to a statement from the MCSO.

The arrests were reportedly the first time where a large number of suspected illegal immigrants were detained in the wake of the adoption of a controversial Arizona law that targets illegal immigrants.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the MCSO's controversial leader who calls himself America's toughest sheriff, previously has come up with a number of strong-handed approaches to control prisoners and his jail facility.

Many civil rights organizations have criticized the sheriff and his deputies over a number of allegations including racial profiling.

Nine of the people arrested were booked into a county jail on human smuggling charges.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the controversial law to crack down on illegal immigrants in her state. Police are empowered to stop and interrogate people suspected of being in the country illegally. Illegal aliens will be fined and imprisoned in accordance with the legislation that goes into effect July 29.



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