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Prison-Visit Initiative Targets Undocumented in Arizona

EFE Univision Online, Posted: Aug 01, 2007

PHOENIX -- Sheriff's Department officials in Maricopa County will verify the immigration status of those who visit prisoners, reports Spanish news service EFE in Univision Online. The county sheriff's spokesperson, Capt. Paul Chagolla, did not name a start date but said the measures would begin soon. There are eight prisons in the county. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio made news by starting a hotline for callers to report information about undocumented immigrants. Activist Magdalena Schwartz said that the ruling probably would catch family members off-guard, putting them in prison beside their relatives. Currently, visitors only need identification such as a driver's license or consular ID card. Maricopa is the only county to implement the state's "anti-coyote" law, which permits authorities to arrest and charge smugglers of undocumented persons and all those paying for their services. Since March 2006, sheriff's department officials have arrested more than 600 undocumented immigrants.



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