PHOENIX — Police in suburban Scottsdale have begun routinely asking for proof of citizenship from every suspect they arrest and turning those who are in this country illegally over to federal immigration officials.
The procedure was started Oct. 15, a result of the September killing of Phoenix police officer Nick Erfle by an illegal immigrant, Erik Jovani Martinez.
Scottsdale police had arrested Martinez on a misdemeanor charge 16 months earlier but they released him then because they didn't know he was an illegal immigrant who had been twice deported.
Erfle's killing "caused us to look at what were asking suspects," Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark said. "If we arrest someone and then find that we called ICE (Customs and Immigration Enforcement) and they put a hold on them, then we know they have been deported and are back again."
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