Tag Archives: arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Can we shut this guy down yet?

Though I caught wind of this story last week, I just sat down to do some research this morning and all I can say is “Are you KIDDING me?!?!”. Last week Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made a name for himself by hunting down the “illegals” of Maricopa County, Arizona, admitted that clothing, conduct and speech are the characteristics that help him determine the immigration status of potential targets. He may as well have said “Well, I racially profile people. That’s how I know”. Incredible. Check out the clip below:

Arpaio is facing ever-increasing scrutiny over his immigration enforcement practices and is currently under a Department of Justice investigation for the countless allegations of racial profiling leveled at his agency. Apparently, Arpaio’s biggest defense was the Federal law he mentioned in the video above. The irony is, the Federal law that Arpaio cites as giving him the power to use these characteristics in his enforcement practices isn’t a law at all. In fact, its a legal analysis that was published by none other than FAIR, the anti-immigrant organization designated a hate group by the SPLC.

However, Matt Bunk of the Arizona Capitol Times points out that no such language exists in any federal immigration law and that the document that Arpaio continuously referenced and passed out at a press conference is actually a legal analysis published by a designated hate group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

When questioned about this, Arpaio admitted that it “might not be a law” but that there was “definitely a law out there” that gave him the power to do this. Basically, Arpaio is admitting that he is operating OUTSIDE of the law and has pledged that he will continue to do so, regardless of how far the administration goes in reigning in his powers.

In fact, even though the government has stripped Arpaio’s authority to conduct immigration raids in Maricopa County, he has promised that today he will be conducting one of his famous sweeps. No word yet on if that’s happened, but it’s clear that this man’s power needs to be taken away. Senator Jose M. Serrano had a letter to the editor published in today’s New York Times, where he gets to the heart of the issue:

…Extremists like Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, are just part of the problem; federal policies that empower these men represent the underlying threat to immigrant communities.

The system is broken. And the longer it waits to be fixed, the more dangerous this threat will become.

[via Andrea Nill at Think Progress]

Immigrant Rights and Community Groups call for an end to the 287g program

A large and diverse group of immigrant rights, civil rights and community organizations have signed onto a letter to President Obama, calling for an end to the so-called 287(g) agreement program. As many of our readers know, the 287(g) program allows local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws. The program has an extensive record of civil and human rights violations and is the same program that allows Sheriff Joe Arpaio to continue his reign of terror in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The National Immigration Law Center, in partnership with NDLON and the Detention Watch Network, have gathered more than 521 organizational sign-ons to the letter. Here is an excerpt:

We applaud your recent remarks acknowledging, that “there is a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.” However, DHS’s continued use of 287(g) program exacerbates exactly this type of racial profiling. In light of well-documented evidence that local law enforcement agencies are using 287(g) powers to justify and intensify racial profiling, Secretary Napolitano’s July 10, 2009 announcement that DHS has expanded the 287(g) program to include 11 new jurisdictions is deeply alarming.

This quote gets to the heart of the issue with these agreements. We strongly hope that the administration heeds this call to terminate this destructive program. For a full list of organizations signed on, keep reading. And for the full text of the letter, click here.

The letter will be delivered this Thursday, August 27th alongside a series of local actions from groups around the country.

Continue reading

ACTION: Kick Arpaio OUT of the 287g program

From our friends at America’s Voice:

Enough is enough. Tell Secretary Napolitano to stop letting Sheriff Arpaio operate outside the law. Ask her to kick him out of the 287-g program, which allows Arpaio’s deputies to become local immigration agents.

Sign the petition, now, and please forward it to your friends!

And if you need a reminder of WHY Arpaio should be kicked out of the program, click here, here or simply watch the video below:

Department of Justice to Investigate Arpaio!

Alright folks, I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a week and a LOT has happened. Most importantly the Department of Justice has finally called for an investigation into Sheriff Joe Arpaio! This comes on the heels of a major action in Arizona, an online petition from America’s Voice and a nation-wide outcry against the antics of Sheriff Joe.


From the AP:

Federal authorities told a high-profile Arizona sheriff Tuesday that they will investigate his department over allegations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures.

The U.S. Justice Department said in a letter to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that investigators will focus on alleged patterns of police discrimination based on national origin.

This announcement was made Tuesday and on Wednesday America’s Voice delivered the online petition with over 38,000 signatures supporting the DOJ investigation.  Below is a video from the event that features Rep. Nadler, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

Thanks to everyone who signed the America’s Voice petition and helped in the effort to Bring Joe to Justice!

Who’s Running Immigration?

Today’s New York Times has a powerful editorial on immigraton enforcement under the Obama administration. Using the exmaples of Saturday’s peaceful protest against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and last week’s unexpected immigration raid in Bellingham, WA, the piece picks apart the notion that Bush-era enforcement-only tactics can somehow solve the immigration issue in this country.

An excerpt:

Americans who might applaud any crackdown on illegal immigrants, particularly in a recession, should know that scattershot raids and rampaging sheriffs are not the answer. The idea that enforcement alone will eliminate the underground economy is a great delusion. It runs up against the impossible arithmetic of mass expulsion — no conceivable regime of raids will wrench 12 million illegal immigrants from their jobs and homes.

The country is not a safer or better place because one more business and two dozen more families are torn apart outside Seattle or because Sheriff Arpaio has much of Maricopa County terrified. The system under which illegal immigrants labor, without hope of assimilation, is not any less broken. A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that federal oversight of the 287(g) program has been sorely lacking.

So, a question: Are Mr. Obama and Ms. Napolitano in charge or not? Let them show it by ending the raids and Sheriff Arpaio’s abuses. Something has to be done about immigration, but it has to be smarter than this.

To read the full article click here.

ACTION: Stop the Abuse. Stop Arpaio. Host a Teach-In!

From the National Day Laborers Organizing Network:

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) along with a broad coalition of grassroots and national organization is calling for you to mobilize to hold teach-ins and organize local actions leading up to a massive march and demonstration in Phoenix 2/28 to shut down the immigrant detention camp.

These teach-ins serve to resist the systematic normalization of hate and xenophobia occurring in Arizona through the use of immigration laws. Arizona is the testing ground for right-wing immigration policy.  If we cannot stop it there, we’ll see similar activities spread across the country.

It is crucial that you help raise awareness and collect resources in support of the communities terrorized by the Maricopa Sheriff and his volunteer posses.

Last week, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa, Arizona marched 200 chained and shackled immigrants from a detention center to a segregated “tent city,” in the desert surrounded by a recently installed electric fence, where it will soon reach 120 degrees daily. Sheriff Arpaio has cut their access to healthcare and plans to force them to work in chain gangs if they “misbehave.”

We are calling for federal intervention in this crisis and for Pres. Obama’s appointee to the Dept. of Homeland Security, Arizona Governor Napolitano, to sever Sheriff Arpaio’s agreement with federal immigration authorities due to his gross human rights violations

Please join Community organizations, faith-based institutions, students, and academics by holding a teach-in to discuss the human rights crisis in Maricopa, Arizona and coming to Phoenix February 27th and 28th. The teach-ins explore the latest civil and human rights violations in Arizona as an alarming trend to criminalize immigrants that last week reached apartheid-like proportions.

Sign up for action alerts: www.ndlon.org

If you are interested in hosting a teach-in and would like a tool-kit or a speaker from the campaign contact: sarahi@ndlon.org or genaro0519@aol.comveritofede@yahoo.com