Arizona Sheriff Defies White House Order
Posted on Dec 13, 2009
Joe Arpaio, a notoriously anti-immigrant Arizona sheriff, in October was ordered by the White House to stop using his deputies to conduct federal immigration duties. Since then, he has launched investigations of his critics and become more aggressive in his sweeps against immigrants. —JCL
The Los Angeles Times:
The day after the federal government told Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that he could no longer use his deputies to round up suspected illegal immigrants on the street, the combative Arizona sheriff did just that.
He launched one of his notorious “sweeps,” in which his officers descend on heavily Latino neighborhoods, arrest hundreds of people for violations as minor as a busted headlight and ask them whether they are in the country legally.
“I wanted to show everybody it didn’t make a difference,” Arpaio said of the Obama administration’s order.
Arpaio calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff” and remains widely popular across the state. For two decades, he has basked in publicity over his colorful tactics, such as dressing jail inmates in pink underwear and housing them in outdoor tents during the brutal Phoenix summers.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has called for investigations of his critics—including the Phoenix mayor, a suburban police chief and a county supervisor. No convictions have resulted.