LOCAL FOX NEWS WAS REPORTING ON THIS ALL DAY YESTERDAY...GUESS THEY DID SOME CHECKING OF HOW THE MESA POLICE CHIEF GOT TO WASHINGTON DC TO TESTIFY IN FRONT OF CONGRESS....A COALITION OF HISPANIC IMMIGRANTS ORGANIZATIONS, 'FOOTED THE BILL' TO SEND AN ELECTED OFFICIAL FOR SUPPOSED STATES BUSINESS...SHERIFF JOE ARPIO'S
DUPITIES WERE ON CAMERA AND DEFENDING THEIR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS RAIDS....THEY WERE REALLY 'PISSED OFF'.....Chief
Mesa Police Chief
George Gascon on Capitol Hill
Last Edited: Thursday, 02 Apr 2009, 6:33 PM MDT
Created On: Thursday, 02 Apr 2009, 12:22 PM MDT
Washington, DC (AP) - Mesa's police chief is in Washington Testifying before a House committee that's investigating a federal program that allows local police to conduct immigration raids.
Mesa police spokesman Sgt. Ed Wessing said Chief George Gascon was asked to speak on the federal program known as 287 (g) before the Judiciary Committee.
"He is going, he will testify," Wessing said. "What he will be asked, we have no idea. I don't think (the committee) tells them beforehand what they will be asking."
Gascon and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio have sparred over the sheriff's raids aimed at rounding up illegal immigrants.
The most recent criticism occurred after an early morning roundup in October when deputies raided Mesa City Hall and Public Library and arrested members of a cleaning crew.
Judiciary Committee member Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, said that allowing local police to apprehend illegal immigrants has made the country safer, but he doesn't believe it's a substitute for
federal laws aimed at securing the nation's borders.
"The federal government has the primary responsibility to secure the borders and to enforce immigration laws. The federal government has not lived up to that responsibility and until they do, I'm not sure any state or city oriented policy will be adequate," he said.
"The foundational hope I've had is for the federal government to rise to its responsibility to protect and secure the borders," Franks said. "If the border is not secured the terrorists don't need a missile to attack the country, they only need a Volkswagen. Illegal immigration is a danger to this country."
Franks said the federal immigration program employed by law enforcement officials "isn't perfect," but it's a step in the right direction.