Four activists who were arrested Wednesday during a protest outside a downtown Phoenix jail continued to criticize Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone’s cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement upon their release Thursday.

Wednesday’s demonstration was part of a national movement of immigrant-rights activists who are calling to shut down ICE because they say the federal law enforcement agency has unjustly separated families by deporting undocumented immigrants.

They also said the demonstration is part of a tour that goes by a Spanish-language phrase that roughly translates to “F–k immigration.” It will next stop in New Mexico.

The four arrested activists include Cinthia Diaz, Kenneth Chapman, Luke Black and Parris Wallace, who were all facing charges of criminal trespass. The four were chain-linked to one another and sat in front of the Fourth Avenue Jail’s entryway during the demonstration Wednesday. After being in custody for about eight hours, they were released on their own recognizance, court records show.

A probable cause statement said deputies had instructed the activists to disperse from the entryway. But after a five-minute wait, the activists stayed put.

“I decided to participate in yesterday’s action because Penzone is (former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe) Arpaio,” said Chapman, who spoke at a Thursday press conference. “Penzone is continuing the legacy, the culture and the policies of Arpaio.”

Penzone in 2016 ousted Arpaio, who was known for his enforcement of immigration laws through worksite raids, street patrols seeking drivers’ immigration status, and allowing ICE agents to pick up county inmates suspected of being in the country illegally. 


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Sheriff criticized

Local pro-immigrant groups such as Puente criticized Penzone, who has been sheriff since January 2017, because of his policy to allow ICE agents to check inmates’ immigration status. In a statement Wednesday, Penzone defended his policy to allow ICE agents interview jail detainees at booking. 

“This is both lawful and necessary in our effort to promote public safety while facilitating the mission and authority of other policing agencies,” Penzone said.

However, he said, his deputies don’t honor “courtesy holds,” a practice in which ICE agents ask jails to hold a detainee while the federal agency investigates whether the person is in the country illegally.

That practice has been criticized in some jurisdictions across the country because state judges in some cases have said people have been held longer in jail longer than the U.S. Constitution allows.

Activists say that just because Penzone’s deputies don’t honor “courtesy holds,” doesn’t mean he is not carrying out the same anti-immigrant mission Arpaio did.

President Donald Trump held an event Monday to honor immigration officials in Washington, D.C. He has said that ICE and other immigration officials are needed for public safety and that the public should support them.

Diaz said at Thursday’s press conference that her mother was deported by ICE and that Penzone is contributing to the mass deportation of immigrants.

“Today, families keep being separated, children are being left without their mom or dad,” she said. “ICE keeps working inside of the communities to destroy us and criminalize us.”


Anti-ICE protesters rally outside Sheriff Paul Penzone’s office in Phoenix on Aug. 22, 2018, to show their disapproval over his cooperation with ICE.
Nick Oza, The Republic |



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