August 7, 2008

Sheriff Under Fire For Illegal Alien Flyer

Aug 7, 2008 11:34 PM CDT
By Tak Landrock

EL PASO COUNTY - Information teaching illegal aliens how to skirt the law is drawing fire from State Representative Douglas Bruce.

Bruce claims victim's advocates at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office handed out the information.

"This is a brochures that is trying to turn illegal aliens into victims and this program sponsored by the sheriff's office is telling people how to undercut federal law enforcement," says Bruce.

He provided NEWSCHANNEL 13 with the entire packet, which includes cartoon drawings, with one man holding a card saying: "I want to speak to my lawyer." The six-page brochure teaches undocumented workers to remain silent, demand a lawyer and not to carry papers from another country.

"We encourage the removal of illegal aliens and getting them out of our jails and turning them over to customs enforcement for deportation. Then we have a program that is twisting the definition of victim so tat people who are criminal are victims," says Bruce.

Sheriff Terry Maketa admits the packets were handed out last month, but not by his office. He says the Colorado Legal Center, along with the Asian Pacific Center handed out the packets.

He tells NEWSCHANNEL 13 that many not-for-profit organizations ask to use his training rooms, which he does provide to the public.

"We don't necessarily screen material to see whether we represent the same views or not. And in this one I can assure you we wouldn't circulate that, nor would I consider using taxpayer money to publish documents that encourage illegal activity, " says Maketa.

He says the topic was victim's rights, not how to skirt the law. Staffers were unaware of what was in the entire packet, until Bruce notified them.

Maketa says while he is upset about what happened, he doesn't plan to review materal of those using training rooms "It's not going to get me to waste resources to review documents that is coming in by every person that is attending a training."

Maketa, who spoke with us from Phoenix, is there watching one of his deputies get sworn in to become a federalized agent to help with immigration issues.

He has 14 other deputies who have already gone through the program.

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