Suit challenges Coconino County jail’s immigration policy

FLAGSTAFF (AP) — A lawsuit is challenging a Northern Arizona jail’s practice of detaining inmates longer than required by local or state charges through holds requested by federal immigration officials.

Inmate Guillermo Tenorio-Serrano filed the suit last month against Coconino County officials to challenge the constitutionality of the jail policy that honors immigration detainer requests, the Arizona Daily Sun reported this week.

The Coconino County jail has held inmates for up to two days longer than required, allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to take custody of people suspected of being in the country illegally.

Tenorio-Serrano was arrested on misdemeanor charges related to driving under the influence in December. Jail staff notified immigration agents who then sent an administrative warrant and a detainer request.

While Tenorio-Serrano, 32, could have made bail, he chose not to so he could avoid being taken into custody by ICE agents.

Jail policy requires staff to comply with detainer requests. Sheriff Jim Driscoll, who is named in the suit, said the policy adheres with a state law that mandates agencies to generally cooperate with and assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

“Cooperation to me is that a federal agency makes a request of us, I am going to try to comply with that,” Driscoll said. “Is the request legal? That’s for the courts to determine.”

In a statement issued this week, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors said the lawsuit will serve as an opportunity to get a final ruling on the constitutionality of parts of the state law.

Kathryn Mahady, the attorney for Tenorio-Serrano, claims that prolonging the detention of inmates violates both the Arizona Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

Mahady said she will ask the court to give the lawsuit class-action status on behalf of additional individuals.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base golf course to close May 1

TUCSON (AP) — Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s golf course is about to close in a move that officials say will save money and provide space for other recreational activities at the Tucson installation.

An announcement says the driving range and putting greens will remain open after the Blanchard Golf Course closes May 1 after 56 years of continuous operations.

The announcement attributes the closure “to significant financial losses over the past eight years” and cites decreasing use of the course and rising utility costs.

According to the announcement, money freed up by the closure will be spent on programs, equipment and facilities for airmen, civilians and families.

Arizona turkey hunters asked to give virus research a leg up

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona wildlife officials are asking spring turkey hunters to consider donating a part of their kill for research.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said Friday that it has been monitoring the state’s wild turkey population for a possible virus.

With turkey-hunting season starting next week, officials are asking hunters, including youth hunters, to give one of the bird’s legs or heart.

They can be turned in to any of the department’s regional offices.

The legs and hearts should be stored in a sealable plastic bag in the freezer.

According to the agency, wild turkeys can develop the Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus that can turn into a deadly cancer.

The disease does not affect humans.