On a single day in April, in a special cell block deep inside the Pinal County Jail, nearly 400 inmates sat awaiting trial or extradition after being detained trying to cross the Arizona border from Mexico.
Only about half of them were actually from Mexico.
The cell block, owned by Pinal County, but contracted with the Department of Homeland Security, is a way station in the immigration process, where inmates are held after they are detained by the Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This is where it gets interesting…
But it’s where the inmates are from that causes concern for some critics and lawmakers.On that one day in April, according to records obtained by ABC 15, Homeland Security officials were holding inmates from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, and the Sudan.“They’re coming from all over,” Arizona Senator Jon Kyl said. “And one wonders whether some of them are coming in here to commit acts of terror.”