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Sheriff Arpaio's Office Reportedly Arrests 6-Year-Old Suspected of Illegal Immigration


"She's been turned over to I.C.E."

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced Thursday he believes President Barack Obama's birth certificate to be a forgery. (AP File Photo)

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is proudly known as "America's toughest sheriff."  On Friday, after Obama announced that we will not be deporting roughly 800,000 illegal immigrants, Arpaio unashamedly asserted that he would continue to enforce Arizona's laws.

However, after it was reported that a 6-year-old was arrested by his office, some are saying he may have gone a little too far.

(Related: Sheriff Joe and Governor Brewer React to Obama's Immigration Announcement)

The Arizona Republic has more information:

The girl was with 15 other people believed to be in the country illegally who were traveling to the Midwest and northeast United States, said Chris Hegstrom, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

"She's been turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to try to determine where she's from. She told us she's from El Salvador. That's what she told us," he said.

The arrest took place Friday night at an undisclosed location in northern Maricopa County.

"It was part of a human-smuggling investigation that we've been investigating throughout the Valley," Hegstrom said.

The whereabouts of the girl's parents or other caretakers is unknown. All of the people traveling with her claimed to know nothing about the girl.

"Where was she going? What are they going to do with her? We're trying to get to the bottom of this right now," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.

All of the other suspected illegal immigrants, who claimed to be from Mexico, were booked into jail.

"We enforce the human-smuggling laws here," Arpaio said. "Every chance I can get to take action on my own without turning them over to ICE, I do. Especially with the new policy the president has."

In light of the fact that no one claimed any knowledge of the girl-- and that she was involved in what appeared to be a human trafficking case-- perhaps Arpaio's unwavering enforcement of the law was actually a serious blessing for the child.

CBS 5 relates: "Sheriff Arpaio ordered the majority of the violators to be booked into his jail in lieu of being turned over to the federal government. The 6-year-old child was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for their disposition."

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