maricopa county: Page 1
The Department of Justice has sued Joe Arpaio - sheriff of Maricopa County - claiming that he's obstructed their investigation into possible racial profiling. This is, needless to say, the Obama administration's latest attack on Arizona in an attempt to prevent states from doing the job the federal government won't do: try to reduce illegal immigration. And, those attacks are preventable if people would work to reduce illegal immigration in smart ways.
From the DOJ's press release :
The department filed today’s lawsuit after exhausting all cooperative measures to gain access to MCSO’s documents and facilities, as part of the department’s investigation of alleged discrimination in MCSO’s police practices and jail operations. Since March 2009, the department has attempted to secure voluntary compliance with the department’s investigation. MCSO’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation makes it an extreme outlier and the department is unaware of any other police department or sheriff’s office that has refused to cooperate in the last 30 years.
“The actions of the sheriff's office are unprecedented. It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities,” said (Thomas Perez), Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
The department’s investigation of MCSO concerns alleged discrimination against Hispanics, in violation of the prohibition on national origin discrimination in Title VI; the pattern or practice provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968; and the pattern or practice provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs on the ground of race, color, or national origin.
UPDATE: From this:
When the Department first informed Arpaio that a probe was under way, back in March 2009, it sent a letter saying the investigation would focus on "alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures." But now we learn that just six months before that, in September 2008, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, did its own investigation of Arpaio's office -- and gave it a clean bill of health. Arpaio's lawyers recently got a copy of the ICE report through the Freedom of Information Act... ...ICE investigators also interviewed top federal officials involved in illegal immigrant cases in Arizona. They found an "excellent" working relationship between the sheriff's office and the feds. ICE talked as well to federal prosecutors in Phoenix, who described the cases brought by Maricopa County as "high quality."
The report contains this:
"The [Homeland Security Department's Office of Investigation] and [DHS' Detention and Removal Operations] supervisors consider the conduct and performance of the [Maricopa County Sheriff's Office] ... officers to be professional and meeting the requirement of the [memorandum of agreement between Arpaio and the Feds on 287g]."
Yesterday, protesters turned out in Phoenix, Tucson, and other cities in Arizona and other states to protest Arizona's new immigration law ("SB 1070") In Phoenix, they tried unsuccessfully to prevent Joe Arpaio from conducting a planned crime sweep.
The attached video is from the Phoenix protest and includes a large Mexican flag and a large Cuban flag - with Che Guevara's image - at the front of the protest.
From this: Hundreds of people representing more than 30 labor unions traveled to Phoenix from Los Angeles to be part of a protest against Arizona's new immigration law.
From this later article:
At least 60 officers, including SWAT members, stood guard after six people were arrested for chaining themselves to the building. About 10 others were taken into custody by deputies dressed in riot gear after they blocked the jail's driveway and refused to move... In total, 23 people, including two juveniles, were arrested. The adults were booked for blocking a public thoroughfare and failure to obey a law enforcement officer, while the juveniles were cited and released, according to the Sheriff's Office. The Phoenix Police Department said it would not have the number of arrests it made until today, but the Arizona Department of Public Safety estimated at least 50 people were arrested in total by Phoenix and Maricopa County officers... In Tucson, authorities arrested 13 in similar street demonstrations.
Per this biased Associated Press article, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona helped deport more than 26,000 illegal aliens under the 287g program. That's of course without that state's new immigration law, which is set to take effect tomorrow. Maricopa was responsible for about one-quarter of all those deported under 287g (115,841 total); 64 local agencies are part of the 287g program.
The Los Angeles County's Sheriff's Office, a distant second to Maricopa, helped find 13,784 immigrants who were later deported or left the country. The Sheriff's Office's agreement with the federal government allows it to check its jails for deportable immigrants, but not to enforce immigration laws during street patrols. A renewal of the agreement is under negotiation.
An estimated 10.8 million people, about 26 percent of the state's population, are living illegally in California, compared with 460,000, about 12 percent, in Arizona.
"These statistics bear out that you have rogue sheriffs in certain counties that are bent on targeting immigrants," Lin said.
Obviously, the AP's statistics are wrong, rendering Lin's concerns even more questionable than they would be with the correct statistics. And, what she refers to as "rogue" is simply effective immigration enforcement rather than what the ACLU would prefer: little or no enforcement at all.
Arpaio deputies to get private training in enforcing immigration law; ACLU outraged (Kobach) - 02/10/10
According to this, all Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies will receive private training "on the authority of local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law". Previously, just 100 of their deputies had received training from the Department of Homeland Security, but the DHS dropped that last year. Law professor and candidate for Attorney General of Kansas Kris Kobach will be providing the training (with his costs self-funded or paid by an unknown group), causing a meltdown among the supporters of illegal activity:
Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, said Kobach is not qualified to offer the training... "He's a private individual, he's not a law-enforcement officer, he's not certified to represent the federal government or to train law enforcement officers on how to enforce immigration law," she said.
"I do not know what qualifies him to train law enforcement offices, he is not one of them."
"I am providing some legal expertise what the rules are according to the courts of the United States on questioning individuals," said Kobach via satellite Wednesday... The Sheriff's office will pay Kobach for his expertise from a fund of money seized from criminals. Sheriff Joe says the professor was only in Phoenix very briefly and made a video they'll use for training.
Source: press release located here. See the first item in the history for the full text.
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tides (www.tides.org) hasawarded a total of $22,500 to the 2009 recipients of the JBL Awards forExcellence in Public Advocacy. Tides' JBL Awards honor policy activists andadvocates by recognizing work that demonstrates innovative approaches tosocial change and a deep commitment to the public interest.
The American Civil Liberties Union - an organization that is/was collaborating with the Mexican government in a scheme that would help that government profit from illegal activity inside the U.S. - is suing Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio for alleged racial profiling and related issues (aclu.org/immigrants/workplace/40777prs20090819.html). According to the ACLU, a father and son - the first a long-term legal resident, the second a U.S. citizen - were detained by Arpaio's deputies while they were conducting an immigration raid at a business:
The lawsuit charges that the MCSO deputies racially profiled the father and son as they drove their pickup truck on a busy public road and illegally arrested and detained them, violating the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law and prohibition on unreasonable seizures.
The ACLU admits that this occured 100 yards from the business, and according to the Associated Press the father works at the location of the raid (link). There's probably a good chance that it will come out that the deputies had a reason to stop the pair. It's interesting that this is one of the few cases involving Arpaio that illegal immigration supporters like the ACLU have tried to hang their hats on.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday voted to postpone the acceptance of $1.6 million from the state to help pay for illegal immigration enforcement by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The Republican-majority board until now has consistently supported Arpaio and generally agreed philosophically with his viewpoint on illegal immigration.
Observers said the decision could signal that the board is concerned by federal inquires into Arpaio's practices and is another example of the toxic political environment between county government and the sheriff.
There may be various reasons for the delay, which will be re-considered in 30 days. One of those voting for the delay was, of course, Mary Rose Wilcox.
DOJ investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio over supposed racial profiling (Lofgren, Conyers, Nadler, Robert Scott, ACORN) - 03/12/09
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona following requests by congressional Democrats and allegations by liberal activists that the department has violated the civil rights of illegal aliens.
Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Robert Scott (D-Va.) requested the investigation, and activists groups such as (National Day Laborer Organizing Network, NDLON) and ACORN launched petition drives and rallies in support of the probe.
The investigation focuses on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and dozens of officers under his command who were trained through the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), which partners federal and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws...
Much of the money for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration-enforcement efforts lately has poured out of a special pool of state money.UPDATE: There are details here, and from this:
But New Times has learned that Governor Janet Napolitano's turning off the spigot.
In what appears to be a prelude to a major fight between Napolitano and Arpaio, the governor issued an executive order last week to develop a new task force--headed up by the state Department of Public Safety--to find and arrest tens of thousands of felons with outstanding warrants.
And, according to a letter from DPS Director Roger Vanderpool to Arpaio outlining the new effort, the task force will be funded with the money that Arpaio isn't getting anymore...
Arpaio said the governor, along with officials in Phoenix and Maricopa County, "conspired to take away ... money that the state Legislature and the (county) Board of Supervisors approved specifically to enforce human smuggling laws, money my office needs to fight illegal immigration."From this:
He said Napolitano's decision to create the felony warrant task force is "a cover-up for taking away grant money to fight illegal immigration," calling the move "despicable.''
Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer denied that the Democratic governor was trying to cut into efforts to stop illegal immigration.In fact, I am shocked - shocked! - that anyone would accuse Napolitano of trying to block immigration enforcement.
"It couldn't be further from the truth," L'Ecuyer said.
In his effort to support illegal immigration and perhaps just gain some fame, Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon now wants the FBI to investigate Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio over whether any civil rights laws were broken civil rights laws during his recent immigration sweeps (link).
In the letter, Gordon race baits, does something no one should do and relies on the characterization of an Arizona Republic editorial ("guilty of looking latino", link), and he also apparently included other news reports which may be biased as well. He includes one example of a suit that's already been filed, and another unverified incident involving one of his own staff members, not exactly an unbiased source.
Arpaio said it was ironic that Gordon drafted the letter on the same day that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials from Washington observed his deputies arresting residents and illegal immigrants in Guadalupe and approved of the sheriff's work... ICE officials have said repeatedly that Arpaio is not violating the formal agreement he has with their office allowing sheriff's deputies to enforce immigration laws.
The Arizona chapter of the Anti-Defamation League also wants an investigation, and others mentioned opposing the raids are the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (both have indirect links to the Mexican government), the Arizona Ecumenical Council, and the American Jewish Committee (collaborated with the Mexican government).
Welcome to yet another premiere, this time of the new WFMOJALI feature. Those initials stand for "Working For Mexico, Or Just Acts Like It?" On the one hand I don't think it's that likely that those to be featured are actually being paid by that government. But, on the other hand, it's difficult to tell the difference between their actions and those that an actual Mexican agent would perform.
Let's kick it off with Arizona state representative Kyrsten Sinema, a member of the Democratic Party and a former Green. Back in 2005 she was part of an ACLU of Arizona team which were "monitoring" the Minuteman Project, during which she tried to claim that Sean Hannity - there for a photo op - was an illegal alien because he'd stepped over the border. He'd actually stepped into a yard-wide buffer zone.
Apparently not forgiving or forgetting the ACLU being shown to be the illegal immigration-supporting fools that they are, she's now back with HB 2286. It would define "domestic terrorism" like so:
AN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS COMMITS DOMESTIC TERRORISM IF THE INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH A LOCAL, STATE OR FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ENTITY AND ASSOCIATE WITH ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS AS AN ORGANIZATION, GROUP, CORPORATION OR COMPANY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PATROLLING TO DETECT ALLEGED ILLEGAL ACTIVITY OR TO INDIVIDUALLY PATROL FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETECTING ALLEGED ILLEGAL ACTIVITY AND IF THE INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS IS ARMED WITH A FIREARM OR OTHER WEAPON.
In Arizona you can openly carry weapons, and that description would fit not only some Minuteman Project volunteers, but perhaps even security companies, neighborhood watches, and even ranchers. There's probably an excellent chance it would be declared unconstitional.
And, Sinema is also working with David Lujan and Steve Gallardo to try to clarify Arizona's new anti-smuggling law. Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has been arresting and trying to prosecute illegal aliens for smuggling themselves into the U.S. under that law. The sponsor of the original law, Rep. Jonathan Paton, says it was meant to be applied just to the smugglers. However, his original intent is probably not the major consideration in Sinema's, and Lujan's, and Gallardo's effort.
UPDATE: Sinema responds to the broadness of her proposal here:
"Block watches are neighborhood groups that coordinate on a regular basis with law enforcement officials in their state... But we don't have block-watch people who strap on their weapons, put a flag in their hat, and then go and sit on the street who is going to shoot the person who is going to jaywalk."
And, of course, you don't have Minuteman Project volunteers who do that either. If they had, rest assured that illegal immigration supporters would have never let us forget it. If they did, that's why we have other laws.
A potential class action lawsuit has been filed by various groups against Maricopa County, Arizona (home of Phoenix) concerning a state law designed to stop human smuggling. Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have been using that law to arrest and charge illegal aliens with smuggling themselves into the country. Since starting that earlier this year, they've managed 180 convictions (two by jury) out of 360 arrests.