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Sheriff Paul Penzone Maricopa County Sheriff Office Jail Policy

Airdate: February 23, 2017
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced changes to MCSO's jail policy. The Sheriff says Maricopa County jails will no longer hold people flagged by federal authorities as a courtesy for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We'll talk to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery about the policy change.

Guests:
  • Bill Montgomery - Maricopa County Attorney
Category: Immigration

Keywords: immigration, Paul Penzone, Maricopa County Sheriff Office,

View Transcript
JOSE: LAST WEEK, MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF PAUL PENZONE ANNOUNCED CHANGES TO MCSO'S DETENTION POLICY. THE SHERIFF SAYS MARICOPA COUNTY JAILS WILL NO LONGER HOLD PEOPLE FLAGGED BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES AS A COURTESY FOR U-S IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. THE CHANGE COMES AFTER SHERIFF PENZONE CONSULTED WITH THE MARICOPA COUNTY ATTOURNEY’S OFFICE. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS IS MARICOPA COUNTY ATTORNEY BILL MONTGOMERY. BEFORE WE GET INTO THE SPECIFICS I WOULD LIKE TO READ A STATEMENT FIRST FROM ICE AND THEN THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE. MCO IMPLEMENTED A POLICY THAT WILL LET CRIMINAL ALIENS TO BE RELEASED INTO THE STREET AND REVICTIMIZE THE COMMUNITY AND THE POLICY PUTS ICE AT A HIGHER RISK AS MORE CRIMINAL ALIENS WILL BE NEED TO BE ARRESTED OUTSIDE OF THE COMPOUNDS OF THE COUNTRY JAIL. THAT IS FROM ICE. WE HAVE STATEMENT EXPERTS FROM PENZONE: WE ARE NO LONGER THE OFFICE WILLING TO DEFY THE CONSTITUTION AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS, RESOURCES OR PUBLIC SAFETY. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND ICE MUST BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RESPONSIBILITIES IN THIS EFFORT. I HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT MCSO WILL CONTINUE TO BE ONE OF THE FEW INSTITUTIONS IN THE COUNTRY THAT PERMITS ICE IN THE DETENTION FACILITIES AND WILL CONTINUE TO EFFECTIVELY WORK WITH ICE BUT ALSO WITHIN THE PARAMETERS OF THE LAW. THAT WAS THE SHERIFF’S STATEMENT. DID HE RECEIVE LEGAL ADVICE? GIVE US A SENSE OF HOW YOU CAME TO THIS CONCLUSION?

BILL MONTGOMERY: THE ISSUE WAS WHETHER OR NOT YOU COULD CONTINUE TO DETAIN SOMEONE PAST THE POINT WHEN STATE LAW AUTHORIZED IT FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOLDING SOMEONE FOR A CIVIL DETAINER.

JOSE: WHEN PEOPLE ARE BOOKED, IF ICE HAS A REASON TO BELIEVE THEY ARE HERE UNLAWFULLY THEY GET NOTICE OR SOMEHOW FLAG THOSE PEOPLE?

BILL MONTGOMERY: RIGHT. EVERYBODY WHO IS BOOKED INTO THE COUNTRY JAIL GOES THROUGH A CHECK ON THEIR CITIZENSHIP OR IMMIGRATION STATUS. THERE IS TWO REASONS FOR THAT. AS PROSECUTORS, WE HAVE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO COURTS WHEN MAKING A RELEASE. SECONDLY WE HAVE THE 1963 VIENA TREATY THAT REQUIRES US TO NOTIFY WHEN WE HAVE THEIR FOREIGN NATIONALS IN CUSTODY. WITHOUT THAT KIND OF A CHECK, WE CAN'T FULFILL OUR TREATY OBLIGATIONS OR THE STATE’S OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE COURT. EVERYBODY WHO GOES INTO THE JAIL GETS CHECKED. ICE AGENTS ARE DOING THAT. BACK IN 2011, THE SECURITY COMMUNITIES DATABASE ACCESS WAS CUT OFF AND THERE WAS NO LONGER RECOGNITION OF THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND NO WAY TO GET THAT INFORMATION. AT THAT POINT IN TIME, WHETHER OR NOT SOMEONE WAS LAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE COUNTRY, WAS A KEY FACTOR IN MAKING A CONSTITUTIONAL DETERMINATION OF WHETHER OR NOT SOMEONE WAS ELIGIBLE FOR BAIL. IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE WE WERE GETTING THAT INFORMATION, THE COMPROMISE THE COURT FOUND WAS TO PUT ICE AGENTS IN THE JAIL AND THAT CONTINUES. NONE OF WHAT WE WERE REVIEWING REQUIRES THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE TO CONTINUE THIS. IT WAS MORE THAN REVIEWING THAT YOU CAN'T USE A CIVIL IMMIGRATION DETAINER TO KEEP SOMEONE IN JAIL.

JOSE: IF A JUDGE DECIDED THEY COULD BE RELEASED THAT PERSON COULD BE HELD FOR AN ADDITIONAL 48 HOURS?

BILL MONTGOMERY: THAT IS THE COURTESY HOLD PART. 24-48 HOURS BEYOND THAT TO PERMIT ICE TO DO WHATEVER THEY NEED TO DO. EVEN WHEN YOU GET A STATE RELEASE ORDER, IT CAN TAKE FIVE OR SIX HOURS. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LEGAL REVIEW WE CONDUCTED THAT SAID THERE CAN'T BE COMMUNICATION PROVIDED. WHEN ICE DOES PLACE AN IMMIGRATION HOLD OR DETAINER ON A PERSON AND THEY PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION AT THE POINT OF BOOKING THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS AWARE OF THAT. IF SOMEONE RECEIVES A RELEASE ORDER, ICE IS MADE AWARE OF THAT, TOO. ONE OF THE IMPORTANT THINGS TO HELP EMPHASIZE HERE IS COMMUNICATION AND COOPERATION WITHIN STATE LAW AND WITHIN THE STATE OF FEDERAL LAW IS STILL GOING ON. IT IS JUST THAT EXTRA 24-48 HOURS CAN'T BE COMPLIED WITH BASED UPON WHAT FEDERAL COURTS ARE SAYING.

JOSE: AND THAT IS WHY I UNDERSTAND THERE WAS A SERIES OF LAWSUITS ACROSS THE COUNTY. ONE FILLED HERE IN DECEMBER IN ARIZONA. SAYING YOU DON'T HAVE PROBABLE CAUSE THAT WOULD ALLOW YOU TO KEEP ME IN JAIL ONCE I FINISHED WHATEVER PERIOD OF TIME I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HERE ON THE STATE CHARGES.

BILL MONTGOMERY: CORRECT. IT IS LIMITED TO THOSE CIVIL IMMIGRATION DETAINERS. WE COULD HAVE DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES IF THERE WAS A CRIMINAL WARRANT OR SOME SORT OF PROBABLE CAUSE DETERMINATION RELATED TO AN IMMIGRATION SITUATION. THAT IS NOT COVERED IN THE LEGAL REVIEW WE CONDUCTED THAT LED TO THE CHANGE IN THE POLICY. I THINK IT MIGHT BE MORE FAIR TO SAY IT WAS A RECOGNITION OF CURRENT FEDERAL COURT RULING AND A REQUIREMENT FOR THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE TO BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THOSE. WE CAN TAKE THE POSITION WE WERE NOT GOING TO FOLLOW CLEAR, COURT DIRECTION AND WAIT FOR A LOCAL COURT TO TELL US THAT. BUT I CAN'T IN GOOD CONSCIOUS, AS AN ATTORNEY, YET ALONE THE ELECTED COUNTY ATTORNEY, TO NOT SHARE THAT INFORMATION WITH ANOTHER COUNTY OFFICIAL WHO HAS DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY IN THAT AREA. ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT THIS IS TO SAY FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO THINK THIS DECISION MADE BY THEIR SHERIFF'S OFFICE WAS TO FULFILL A CAMPAIGN PLEDGE OR BE VINDICTIVE TOWARD THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BOTH OF THOSE CONCLUSIONS ARE GROSSLY MISCHARACTERIZING.

JOSE: I SAW THINGS SUGGESTING THIS.

BILL MONTGOMERY: SINCE THE LEGAL INFORMATION DIDN’T COME FROM THE OFFICE HE DIDN’T GET WHAT HE PAID FOR BECAUSE HE GOT ME.

JOSE: GEORGE SORROS FUNDED THAT CAMPAIGN.

BILL MONTGOMERY: YES, I WAS PROBABLY THE SECOND BIGGEST INVESMENT LOSS.

JOSE: WHAT ABOUT THE STATEMENT BY ICE THESE ARE CRIMINALS BEING RELEASED TO RE-VICTIMIZE CITIZENS?

BILL MONTGOMERY: I THINK THAT STATEMENT WAS WITHOUT BENEFITING OF UNDERSTANDING THE DEGREE OF COOPERATION AND COMMUNICATION THAT WAS STILL GOING TO OCCUR. THERE IS COMMUNICATION THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO MAKE SURE ICE GETS TO PLAY IT'S PROPER ROLE AND THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE GETS TO PLAY ITS PROPER ROLE. I THINK THE COMMUNICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION FROM ICE WAS PROBABLY WITHOUT FULL CONSIDERATION OF WHAT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE WAS GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO.

JOSE: AND THEY ARE STILL ONE OF THE FEW DETENTION FACILITIES THAT LETS ICE BE RIGHT THERE WITH OFFICES IN THE FACILITY.

BILL MONTGOMERY: THAT IS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE BEING SUED AND LOSING ACCESS TO THE SECURED COMMUNITIES DATABASE. THE FACT THAT ICE CONTINUES TO BE IN THE JAIL DOES DEMONSTRATE A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS AND IT IS ALSO TO ENSURE WE AS LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE ABLE TO DO OUR JOB UNDER STATE LAW AND INTERNATIONAL TREATY.

JOSE: WE ONLY HAVE A MINUTE LEFT. BUT WHAT IS GOING ON AT YOUR OFFICE THAT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT? PARTICULAR AT THE LEGISLATURE?

BILL MONTGOMERY: ONE IS MAKING YOUR WE HAVE AN APPROPRIATE PENALTY FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY. COURTS ARE ABLE TO DESIGNATE THEM AS MISDEMEANORS. THE PUBLIC'S PERCEPTION IS THOSE SHOULD BE PUNISHED AND WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO DO AS PROSECUTORS. AND ALSO WE ARE TRYING TO COME UP WITH COMPROMISES OVER ASSET FORFEITURE.

JOSE: THERE IS MORE TO TALK ABOUT AND WE WILL GET YOU BACK ON TO TALK ABOUT IT.