AZ sheriff's officers turn in federal credentials

December 21, 2011 - 9:20 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Dozens of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail officers lined up at a news conference in Phoenix to ceremoniously hand in their federal credentials a week after they were stripped of the ability to verify the immigration status of inmates.

The Department of Homeland Security announced Dec. 15 that more than 90 of Arpaio's Maricopa County jail officers could no longer check whether inmates were in the county illegally.

The decision followed the release of a scathing Department of Justice report that said Arpaio's office has a pattern of racially profiling Latinos. The sheriff has denied the allegations.

At Wednesday's news conference, Arpaio said he would hold the federal government to its promise to send 50 federal agents to do the immigration screening at the jail.