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U.S. Attorney For Arizona Holds News Conference On Sanctuary Issues

The nation’s top prosecutor announced plans Monday to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities, counties and states.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona called a rare news conference to follow up, even though the state doesn’t have any sanctuary cities.

U.S. Attorney Michael Bailey said last month that his office started tracking how many people it prosecutes for illegally coming back to the U.S. after they’ve been deported. The data show about 1,100 people were charged with illegal reentry. Among those, roughly 20% of 346 people with criminal records not related to immigration had convictions for violent crimes.

Bailey said the numbers contain a lesson.   

“If we don’t have the cooperation of state and local authorities, some large number of illegal aliens with a criminal history are going to be walking free on the streets of our community,” Bailey said.

For the most part, all police agencies in Arizona cooperate with federal immigration authorities, Bailey said.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.