Tag Archives: sheriff joe arpaio

FBI Investigation: The beginning of the end for Sheriff Joe?

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There has been a video circulating the web in the past week that features the story of an FBI investigation that is gathering momentum against our friend Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona.

We’ve tracked the long list of allegations leveled at Sheriff Joe; racial profiling, civil rights violations, a proven disregard for Federal law. But now, Arpaio is being investigated for yet another wrongdoing. From ThinkProgress:

This weekend, news reports revealed that the FBI is investigating whether Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been “using his position to settle political vendettas” against those who have been critical of his controversial tactics, namely his bullish pursuit of undocumented immigrants.

It seems as though Arpaio has decided the same scare tactics and bullying that he uses against undocumented immigrants, could also work against any of his critics or enemies: including those investigating Arpaio’s many alleged abuses.

Check out the video here:

Its worth nothing that Sheriff Arpaio refused to be interviewed on camera for this piece, a remarkable change in attitude from a man who was once gunning (pun intended) for his own reality show and who executes his own press conferences and legal maneuvers with all the pageantry of an actors on stage.

Earlier this week, Nezua at the Unapologetic Mexican summarized it quite nicely:

Watch this video above, and marvel at how the rogue cop can scoff off two major concurrent investigations by both the USDOJ and the FBI! Methinks hethinks he is his own lil country. And maybe he is. For now. Then again, I bet there was a day the T-Rex thought he’d walk the planet forever.

This man thinks he is invincible and that’s not only what makes him terrifying, its also what will eventually bring him down.

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]

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:

Continuing (and Expanding) 287g: Why we can’t afford more of the same

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Last week, it was announced that the Department of Homeland Security was signing 11 new local law enforcement agencies onto the program known as 287(g). The program grants local law enforcement agents the authority to enforce federal immigration laws. The destructive program cultivates a culture of fear among immigrants and communities of color, pours resources into the rounding up of immigrants instead of the protection of public safety and has been condemned by everyone from independent think-thanks to the Police Foundation.

So why is DHS continuing this failed program? While the announcement was made alongside the pledge of a long overdue “review” of the program, it is a mistake to expand any failed enforcement program in the absence of satisfactory comprehensive immigration legislation.

Let me be clear, this is the program that gives Sheriff Joe “I don’t have to answer to the DOJ” Arpaio the authority to round up Latinos like cattle and ignore his commitment to the actual protection of the public. This is the program under which Juana Villegas de la Paz was shackled to her hospital bed while giving birth to her child. This is the program that was found to “create a climate of racial profiling and insecurity” by a leading national university.

I am disappointed that the announcement of a review of this program was accompanied by an ill-advised expansion. This, more than anything, points to the need for a FULL OVERHAUL of immigration policy. We cannot continue failed programs in the absence of comprehensive reform.

As an editorial in the NY Times today stated:

Enforcement-only schemes were the rage back when anti-immigrant demagogues were in full roar and Bush officials wanted to show how tough they were. They bring us no closer to an immigration system that works. Mr. Obama promised fresh ideas on immigration reform. So far we don’t see them.

ACTION: Justice for Joe – What do you want to see?

We all remember America’s favorite sheriff, Mr. Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. How could we forget the time he marched hundreds of inmates through the streets in chains to a tent city surrounded by electric fences? Or the time he said he was “honored” to be compared to the KKK? Or his many (MANY) accusations of racial profiling?

Lots of  you helped by petitioning the Department of Justice to investigate good old Joe and we need your help again. Tomorrow there will be a hearing in Congress to investigate the violations of civil rights under 287(g) (the law that allows Joe and others to locally enforce immigration laws). We want to know – what do you want to ask folks like Sheriff Joe?

20090331askjoeWhat issues do you think are most important for Members of Congress to investigate at the hearing? Is it ending racial profiling? Is it finding the best ways to ensure community safety?

Now is your chance to speak up. Visit http://americasvoiceonline.org/FIRMtoCongress to submit your questions and tell Members of Congress what you think the priority of the investigation should be.

Our partners at America’s Voice will be delivering your suggestions directly to Congress – so make your voice heard! This hearing is an important first step towards leaving behind the Bush enforcement-only era and pushing towards comprehensive immigration reform.

Visit http://americasvoiceonline.org/FIRMtoCongress to make sure Members of Congress are on the right track!

And be sure to tune into the hearing – you can watch live at http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/calendar.html – tomorrow, April 2nd at 10AM EST.

FIRM Spotlight: MOSES Delivers Thanks to Conyers

Last week, we announced that the House Judiciary Subcommittee called for an investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The demand for the investigation was led by House Representative John Conyers of Michigan.

To show our thanks, on Thursday of last week, FIRM and our partner organization MOSES, delivered a card to Rep. Conyers’ office.

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“We wanted to thank Rep. Conyers for his leadership in investigating Sheriff Arpaio, and  to tell our Congressman that his community stands behind him,” Jackie Dunn-Bell of MOSES. “We wanted to thank him for understanding that this is not just an immigration issue. It’s a human rights issue.”

Though Conyers was not at his office when leaders from MOSES and FIRM delivered the card, Conyers’ District Director Melody L. Light thanked the leaders and promised to arrange a meeting with the Congressman to give them a chance to share their concerns and propose solutions.

ACTION: Call NBC and tell the the TRUTH about Joe Arpaio

Recently I posted on the new reality TV show starring none other than our favorite bully Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

This holiday, Fox is turning self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio into its newest reality television star (as if we needed another one).  ”Smile, You’re Under Arrest” will celebrate an old man on a power trip, with an appalling record of racial profiling and civil rights abuses.


 

Well, America’s Voice just notified me that Sheriff Joe will be interviewed on Conan O’Brien’s show tonight. Please call NBC RIGHT NOW  to tell them the truth about Sheriff Joe, who should be prosecuted for racial profiling of anyone who looks Latino, not glorified on national TV:

1-212-664-4444

Ask to be connected to the Conan Show producers. Say something like this:

“I am horrified that Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a civil rights abuser who has 2,700 lawsuits filed against him, is going to be on the Conan Show.”

“I hope that the producers encourage Conan to ask Sheriff Arpaio about his racial profiling of Latino citizens in Arizona.”

 We have to let NBC, and Arpaio know, that we will not tolerate hate as a mainstream marketing tool.  Call NBC now – and forward this information to your friends.

For more, check out the post at America’s Voice.