AZ Sheriff On CNN Says, "I'm Going To Fool Them All"

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told Wolfe Blitzer on CNN that he "fooled" the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) Wednesday afternoon, just days after losing his ICE immigration agent authority, which had previously authorized Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) deputies to investigate and detain people suspected of living or working in the country illegally.

Critics who have decried Arpaio as the "modern day Bull Connor" for his immigration enforcement tactics celebrated this week when news spread that DHS would no longer authorize MCSO to investigate and detain people on immigration violations on the streets of Phoenix, but Arpaio says his immigration efforts will not be derailed. Instead, he told CNN that he "fooled" DHS by signing the new enforcement agreement, one undoubtedly meant to hamper his efforts.

Arpaio says a little-known U.S. law gives him the authority to continue enforcing immigration laws with fewer restrictions than he had been required to follow under his previous agreement with DHS. Arpaio also said both yesterday and again today that he lost his ICE authority due to a conspiracy against him.