WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security is cutting ties with an Arizona sheriff accused of a wide range of civil right violations.
Secretary Janet Napolitano, said Thursday the department is ending an agreement with the Maricopa County sheriff's office that allowed trained deputies to enforce immigration laws. It's also restricting the office's use of the Secure Communities program, which uses fingerprints collected in local jails to identify illegal immigrants.
Napolitano's announcement came shortly after the Justice Department released a scathing report accusing Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ar-PEYE'-oh) and his office of committing a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos. Justice Department investigators said the abuses included a pattern of racial profiling.
Napolitano was governor of Arizona prior to being tabbed for the Homeland Secuirty post by then-President-elect Barack Obama in late 2008.