Arizona: Immigrant Bashing and Sherriff Joe Arpaio
Sherrif Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County Arizona, has made national headlines with his "tough guy" image and his alarmingly anti-immigrant tactics. Below is a video of Arpaio saying he is "honored" to be compared to the KKK.
[youtube = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFTUQ71Aq0o]
Free Speech Radio News has done a series of podcasts covering Arpaio's ongoing reign of terror in Arizona.
There's a battle taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona: the fourth largest county in the nation, and home to some of the fastest-growing cities in the US – all in the middle of a desert. The conflict taking place is between long-time Sheriff Joe Arpaio and locals who say his deputies are terrorizing their community.
While Arpaio defends his department's actions and says he's simply enforcing immigration law, others say his department is using racial profiling to create a human rights crisis.
Arpaio's local deputies have enforced federal immigration law under an agreement with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, called 287g. But people in Maricopa County say that 287g has now become a pretext for deputies to target and harass anyone with brown skin – regardless of their immigration status. And it's not just activists and organizers who allege that Arpaio has infringed on people's civil rights: Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is so disturbed by Sheriff Arpaio's tactics that he has personally written two letters to the FBI, demanding an investigation into what he says is discriminatory harassment, improper stops, searches and arrests.
For more information on Arizona and immigrant rights, visit Stop Immigrant Bashing in Arizona.