Yesterday the Department of Justice unveiled a stinging report which cited Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with unprecedented levels of racial profiling and intimidation of Hispanic citizens. Within hours of the announcement the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that DHS was revoking Sheriff Joe’s ability to conduct immigration screenings in jail. Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry defended the sheriff.
- Federal investigators concluded that Arpaio and his staff engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of discriminating against Latinos in the jails and in traffic stops, especially in its human-smuggling and work-site enforcement units.
- Hispanics were routinely targeted for traffic stops without reasonable cause and subsequently charged with immigration-related crimes.
- Legal residents were sometimes treated as if they were illegal immigrants and even jailed. Latino inmates with poor or no English proficiency were frequently punished for not understanding English, were required to fill out forms in a language they did not understand, or were denied critical services available to English-speaking inmates.
That treatment, according to the Justice Department, flows from the top echelons of the Sheriff’s Office and has compromised the office’s ability to provide quality law enforcement to county residents.”
DHS cuts ties with Sheriff Joe – The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security released a statement announcing that the DHS was revoking the Sheriffs ability to screen for immigrants in jails. “Within two hours of Perez’s announcement, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the federal government would remove the sheriff’s authority to conduct immigration screenings in the jails. That authority had allowed the sheriff’s office to conduct immigration screenings on every inmate booked into jail. Arpaio claims it has led to the removal of more than 50,000 inmates suspected of being in the country illegally. Napolitano said the Department of Homeland Security would continue to enforce immigration laws in Arizona and focus resources on “criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor.”
Perry defends Arpaio Texas Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry defended the Sheriff: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry is defending one of his more controversial surrogates, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, against a report by the Justice Department issued on Thursday that accuses him of committing civil-rights violationsagainst Latinos in the Arizona county he oversees. Justice’s Civil Rights Division alleged that Arpaio’s office has committed a wide range of violations, including following a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination, and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints.”