Sun Sets on Anti-Immigration Sheriff
Posted on Oct 9, 2009
Joe Arpaio, a sheriff in Arizona known for his rabid anti-immigration stance and poor treatment of undocumented immigrants in his custody, has finally lost the federal power to enforce immigration law—a power reserved for federal agents, not county sheriffs.
The revoking of powers is criticized by pro-Arpaio forces as “political” move by the Obama administration, while others make the point that federal officers enforce federal laws, such as immigration, while state and county officers like Arpaio traditionally enforce state and county laws. —JCL
A controversial Arizona sheriff known for taking a hard line against illegal immigrants has been stripped of some of his powers in what he described as a political move by the Obama administration.
Joe Arpaio, a gruff lawman who styles himself as America’s toughest sheriff, has won acclaim from US anti-immigrant forces for his relentless pursuit of mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants in Maricopa county, Arizona, a fast-growing county of 4 million people that is home to Phoenix, the nation’s fifth largest city.
Arpaio’s aggressive tactics include the jailing of illegal immigrants in tent cities surrounded by barbed wire in the middle of Arizona’s searingly hot summers, the reduction of meal costs to 20 cents per day, the use of pink jail clothing for men, and chain gangs for women inmates.
Joe Arpaio has been the focus of protests by immigration and human rights groups, citing his overreach of power and poor treatment of immigrants in his custody.