PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is demanding an investigation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement by the Homeland Security Inspector General to explain why the department keeps releasing illegal immigrants convicted of crimes.
The sheriff's office said 37 percent of the almost 3,200 illegal immigrants booked into county jails this year and passed on to Customs were repeat offenders.
Crimes included kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, child molestation, sexual abuse and more. Some of the immigrants have been arrested multiple times, some more than a dozen.
"I've been writing to Secretary Jeh Johnson, offering my help and asking for answers and receiving nothing but bureaucratic form letters in return," Arpaio said.
"This is more than a serious situation, this is dangerous and intolerable, and I have no choice but to request that the Inspector General for Homeland Security look into the matter."
Arpaio said if continues to get no response, he would call for a congressional investigation.
The sheriff will be going to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto to give recommendations on how to secure the border. A date for the trip isn't set.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.