AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio: ‘We’re Going To Continue Enforcing The Illegal Immigration Laws’

Hot on the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement about a new immigration policy that would grant immunity to some undocumented immigrants, Joe Arpaio, sheriff in Arizona’s Maricopa County, spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon. Deeming the decision “politics,” Arpaio asked, “Why now?”

RELATED: Obama Admin To Halt Deportation, Grant Work Permits To Young Illegal Immigrants

Noting the timing, Arpaio added, “Why not let Congress decide next year on this issue?” Lemon asked, “Is that even a valid argument?” After all, he said, it’s all politics. It’s the first step toward amnesty, Arpaio said, asserting that’s Obama’s goal. As for himself, Arpaio said, “We’re going to continue enforcing the illegal immigration laws, including the state laws. We do have state laws that we enforce.”

Arpaio underlined his concern about “the politics of all this,” countering Lemon, saying, “It does matter.” Congress should look at the DREAM Act next year, he said, and act on it — instead of talking about it, letting Obama bypass them with an executive order.

He then again emphasized that he will continue enforce immigration laws. Lemon wondered if that means he’ll ignore what the president is announcing today. No, he said. He won’t violate the Constitution or laws, but it should be Congress looking at the issue. He further said there’s no immediate impact of the policy on the state of Arizona, before asking if people are here illegally, “How come they haven’t been deported?”

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