The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Justice Department Launches Arpaio Investigation

By Hatewatch Staff on March 17, 2009 - 8:09 am, Posted in Uncategorized

The U.S. Justice Department has begun an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department after months of complaints that Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies are routinely committing civil rights violations during immigration enforcement sweeps.
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  • C. Johnson

    Immigrants are not the only individuals Sheriff Joe has committed violations against. I visited a friend of mine who has been locked up for 3 weeks, awaiting a hearing, for DWB (Driving While Black). I cannot understand how an American Citizen taken into custody under false pretenses, held without a trial and surrounded by known felons (murderers, drug dealers and gang members). Sheriff Joe is also making massive sums of money from these individual by charging them excessive amounts for necessities. It was stated some time ago that his wife owns the linen contract under his jurisdiction and his brother-in-law owns the vending contract under his jurisdiction. He is managing a corrupt operation and this should be investigated, but his friends in the Arizona legislation are protecting him. Arizona is and will always be a right-wing extremist state, so if it isn’t “white” it isn’t right.

  • Gunther Schultz

    We should all agree with the SPLC that there is no difference between an illegal and legal immigrant and that we should open our borders and let anyone come into our country who wants to. The SPLC is all for letting in 50,000,000 to 100,000,000 immigrants to the U.S.A. It’s OK if Latin-American countries have strict immigration laws that they enforce but the SPLC feels that the U.S. should not enforce her immigration laws for to do so would be a racist act. Let everyone in without criminal background checks or health screening for diseases like TB, AIDS, etc. to put any limitations on immigrants, legal or otherwise is just another manifestation of racial bigotry. It sounds like the SPLC sure has its head screwed on right and you better not accuse them of having a left-wing agenda you neo-Nazi right-wing nativist fanatic.

  • cindy hawkins-legorreta

    Mr. Lopey makes some good points. And, I’d like to add, as a “gringa” with a wonderful husband born in Mexico City, (naturalized US citizen years ago), we both strongly believe the Mexican government and leadership MUST proactively do more to create jobs and economic opportunity within their country. We have heard, more than once from people who are here illegally that if there was work in Mexico, they would NEVER leave their families and loved ones. So it is something to ask ourselves: is Mexico aggressively doing enough to facilitate jobs, and a way for all Mexicans to earn a living? Contrary to popular press/media images, not ALL Mexicans are interested in coming to the United States, frequently risking their lives, running the border so they can earn a below-subsistence wage in an underground economy and live, away from home and dear ones for perhaps, a decade! While the United States wrestles “up north” with this complicated, heartbreaking issue, the focus too, also be on Mexico’s government and those in positions of leadership to join us in efforts to solve the problem. Work WITH us, not AGAINST us. We have a common southern border; we share a problem. Now, we should SHARE in seeking a solution.

  • Mark

    Joe Arpaio is a flashback to the southern lawmen of old that wore a badge by day and a robe and hood at night. Why is it that some folks just have to have someone to hate just to get through their miserable days. You can bet that the Joe Arpaios of this world have a special place reserved for them in hell.

  • James Lopey

    Sheriff Arpaio is being investigated for doing his job. I spent over 30 years in law enforcement and the problem with illegal immigration is the federal government’s inconsistent enforcement. The government sends mixed messages. When Arpaio and others try to enforce the law his/their agencies get investigated. Only recently have I observed any aggressive enforcemenet by ICE. In years past they were rarely interested in illegal immigrants, unless they were involved in major felonies. The federal government’s inconsisten policies and lack of enforcement is the problem–not to mention weak politicians who refuse to support appropriate enforcement. It’s gotten to the point that it is almost too broken to fix–and trying to pressure local, county or state law enforcement to back off is hypocritical. If the feds consistently enforced the immigration laws we wouldn’t be in this dilemma. Quit sending mixed messages and playing politics and do your jobs!