Joe Arpaio the immigrant hating gun totin', Sheriff from Maricopa County, who has repeatedly flaunted his disrespect for the federal government is at it again. Despite the fact that ICE has suspended Arpaio's federal 287(g) authority his unconstitutional dragnets continue.
The most recent two-day total for the sweep that ended Friday was 111 of which only 78 were suspected of being illegal. Arrapio's press release indicated that 21 of them were turned over to ICE.
Arpaio found his addiction to harassing illegal immigrants when he was granted power under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This part of the law grants legal authority for state and local enforcement to investigate, detain, and arrest aliens on civil and criminal grounds.
In Maricopa, Arrapio's immigration sweeps have created the appearance that police agencies will or can deport an immigrant upon being contacted, even when the person is the victim of a crime.
Arizona is known to have some of the harshest immigration policies in the nation. They include an employer sanctions law against companies that knowingly hire undocumented labour, which has been used as a reason to conduct workplace immigration raids.
It's been said that "Arpaio doesn't need 287(g) to arrest people. The Arizona criminal code has changed so drastically that he's above and beyond the control of Napolitano," according to Aarti Shahani, a researcher with Justice Strategies and author of the report "Local Democracy on ICE". The bottom line for many immigrant activists is that the 287(g) program has to be discontinues. The failure of the federal government to put an end to this program reflects poorly on President Barack Obama's promise to approve comprehensive immigration reform,
Now as if he isn't strange enough, Sheriff Joe is thinking about running for Governor of Arizona, and he has raised 2 million dollars.
You wonder who would give a person like Arpaio any money at all, let alone support him in a run for the governorship. Apparently the immigrant hating sheriff is popular among those favoring the deportation of illegal immigrants. The U.S Justice Department is investigating Arpaio for civil rights abuses against Hispanics, and a federal grand jury is looking at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for charges of abuse of power.
Pro immigrant activists hope that any version of a comprehensive immigration reform law will permanently remove section 285 (g) from the immigration laws.