MCSO to Clarify It Doesn't Enforce Immigration Laws in Court-Ordered Community Meetings
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has scheduled "community outreach meetings," as ordered by a federal judge in the Melendres v. Arpaio civil rights case.
According to the judge's order, "The MCSO shall clarify for the public at these meetings that it does not enforce immigration laws except to the extent that it is enforcing Arizona and federal criminal laws."
-Joe Arpaio Issues a Press Release en español, and Not Because He Wanted to
Of course, Arpaio and MCSO still act as immigration enforcers to an extent, including the workplace raids carried out under state identity-theft statutes.
The Sheriff's Office released a public announcement yesterday giving the times and locations for the meetings:
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will hold our first community outreach meetings on Saturday December 21, 2013 at 9:30am in all patrol districts throughout the county. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend. The purpose of these meetings is to answer, where possible, public questions or concerns about the Sheriff's Office patrol operations, to outline the changes to patrol policy regarding traffic stops and to inform the public of the upcoming changes to policy, training, data collection and records management. English and Spanish-speaking Sheriff's personnel will be present and available to answer questions from the public.The court order says MCSO had to hold these meetings within 90 days of that order, and they have to be held at least once every year.
La Oficina del Sheriff del Condado de Maricopa llevará a cabo nuestras primeras reuniones de promoción comunitario en todos los distritos de patrulla en el condado el sábado, 21 de diciembre 2013, a las 9:30 de la mañana. Miembros de la comunidad interesados en asistir serán bienvenidos. El propósito de estas reuniones es para dar respuestas, cuando sea posible, a las preguntas o preocupaciones que tenga el público acerca de las operaciones de la patrulla del Oficina del Aguacil, y para explicar los nuevos cambios introducidos a las pólizas a cerca de las paradas de tráfico y los cambios en póliza, en entrenamiento, la colección de datos y gestión de registros (documentos). Empleados de la Oficina del Aguacil que hablan español estarán presentes y disponibles para responder a las preguntas del público.
Meetings will be held at the following locations:
District 1: 9531 East Riggs Road, Sun Lakes
District 2: 920 East Van Buren, Avondale 85323
District 3:Sun City: 10831 Sunland Drive 85351, Sun City Posse Building
District 4:Cave Creek: Cave Creek Town Hall, 37622 N. Cave Creek Rd 85331
District 6:Queen Creek: Queen Creek Library, 21802 S. Ellsworth Rd 85142
District 7:Fountain Hills: Ftn. Hills Community center, 13001 N. La Montana Dr. 85268
Lakes: 7307 North Bush Highway, Mesa AZ 85215
These meetings are different from the ones that are required to be held after "any Significant Operations or Patrols in the affected District(s)," such as the one recently held after Arpaio's sweep in the West Valley.
"The meetings present an opportunity for MCSO representatives to listen to community members' experiences and concerns about MCSO practices implementing this Order, including the impact on public trust," Judge Snow's order states. "MCSO representatives shall make reasonable efforts to address such concerns during the meetings and afterward."
See the specific points of these meetings in the following excerpt from the order:
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.