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Updated Aug 15, 2014 - 7:14 am

Sheriff Joe Arpaio continues push for investigation of immigration bureau

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.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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