The sheriff for metropolitan Phoenix has vowed to continue his business raids that target identity theft by immigrant workers despite a lawsuit that alleges the tactic is discriminatory.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio didn't comment directly on Wednesday's lawsuit, but he says his raids will continue because they confront identity theft.

He drew no distinction between people who steal identities for the purposes of taking other people's money and those who use fake or stolen IDs to get jobs.

The lawsuit by immigrant-rights advocates alleges that hundreds of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally have been singled out in such cases, while only a small number of employers have had court cases brought against them on allegations of illegal hiring.