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Immigration agents to screen Arizona jail inmates‎

Published: Dec 20, 2011 9:30 am By: Associated Press

"The Homeland Security Department will use 50 immigration agents to screen jail inmates in Arizona's most populous county after revoking the sheriff's authority to access its systems, the agency said Monday in a letter to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

The letter from Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Nelson Peacock, obtained by the Associated Press, says the 50 dedicated agents will "screen, identify, apprehend and remove criminal aliens" found in Maricopa County jails.

The agents will replace county officers who had special training and the authority to perform the task in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's lockups. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano revoked that authority last week after a Justice Department investigation concluded that Arpaio's office engaged in a pattern and practice of civil rights and constitutional violations and discriminated against Latinos."

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