View Full Version : Immigrant-Rights Group Marches Outside Offices of Arizona Sheriff

07-17-2006, 01:38 AM
Immigrant-Rights Group Marches Outside Offices of Arizona Sheriff
Friday, July 14, 2006
Associated Press

PHOENIX Hundreds of immigrant-rights activists sparred with the sheriff of Arizona's most populous county Friday, calling him heartless for arresting illegal immigrants under a state smuggling law.

More than 200 protesters marched through a small area of downtown Phoenix and stopped in front of the office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for female chain gangs and forcing inmates to wear pink underwear.

Protesters walked diagonally through an intersection and met Arpaio on the other side.

"Sheriff, we are here to get on our knees and implore you to stop the hostility against the Hispanic community," said Elias Bermudez, president of activist group Inmigrantes Sin Fronteras, or Immigrants Without Borders.

Arpaio refused to stop arresting illegal immigrants under the human smuggling law, whose authors say the legislation was intended to crack down on violent immigrant smugglers not the people being smuggled.

Bermudez told Arpaio if he wouldn't work with the Hispanic community, Latinos will retaliate at the polls.

"We have come here, we have begged, we have gotten on our knees," Bermudez said. "You have not worked with us. The only thing we can tell you is you cannot be our sheriff. You are pursuing something that goes against the Hispanic community, and we as the Hispanic community will do our most to have you removed from public office, and we will do it through the polls."

Under a disputed interpretation by Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, the law is being applied to the smuggled immigrants themselves. Thomas maintains illegal immigrants who pay smugglers to enter the United States are committing conspiracy to smuggle and can therefore be prosecuted under the state law. It's punishable by up to two years in jail.

On Tuesday, a judge dismissed charges against two Mexican men at the first trial of the hundreds of illegal immigrants charged with conspiracy under the law. the next day, a jury found a smuggler guilty under the law.

Neither the protests nor the dismissals will stop him from arresting more illegal immigrants, Arpaio said

"I am going to enforce the law," Arpaio told protesters Friday. "You cannot change my mind."

The protesters also demonstrated in front of Thomas's office, but he wasn't there. Instead, he issued a statement through his public relations representative.

"The protests today remind us that America is a generous nation so generous that we allow illegal immigrants to protest publicly in our streets and to demand that our immigration laws not be enforced," Thomas wrote. "However, it is my duty, as the county's chief prosecutor, to hold accountable those who violate Arizona's criminal statutes. This includes prosecuting those who violate our state law against human smuggling, a law designed to combat illegal immigration."

After speaking with Arpaio, Bermudez and the other protesters marched in a circle, chanting "Libertad" and "Si se puede," Spanish for "Liberty" and "Yes we can."

They carried American flags and signs that read, "Don't be nosy with the Border Patrol job" and "You can't have a crime without a victim."

One 9-year-old girl wore a black-and-white-striped prison uniform with a sign taped to her back that read, "I am not a criminal."

"I'm afraid my parents will go to jail," said the girl, Daniela Marqueda of Phoenix.

Another man, Cliff Clifton, shouted at Arpaio, calling him a "Nazi thug" and a "scumbag piece of garbage," to which Arpaio said, "Is that all you can say?"

One woman leaned in close to Arpaio, pointing her finger in his face to mimic the sheriff.

Earlier this week, local news channels showed Arpaio pointing his finger at the two illegal immigrants whose charges were dismissed, ordering them to go back to Mexico and tell all their friends to stay out of Maricopa County.

black campbell
07-17-2006, 01:34 PM

The only downside to this is Arpaio didn't arrest the illegals in the protest.

07-17-2006, 01:40 PM

The only downside to this is Arpaio didn't arrest the illegals in the protest.

Yeah tell me about it

07-17-2006, 01:59 PM
i like that sherrif

07-17-2006, 02:43 PM
Joe's a good guy for the most part. He gets a little over zealous at times(had the swat teams in full gear roaming the malls last christmas to discourage crime), is a media hound, has access to way too many toys (what sherrif needs a 155mm self propelled gun? I mean really? Joe has one!). However, Joe's really begun to shine with this illegal alien issue.

07-17-2006, 03:24 PM
sounds like the pennsylvania town...


07-17-2006, 03:25 PM
I wish more people would stand up for the law.

Medula Oblongata
07-17-2006, 08:53 PM
Having served in AZ law enforcement (State) and having worked in Maricopa County, I have mixed feelings for Arpaio. I know him personally and find him to be a truly despicable person. His jails are ripe with nepotism (all of the vendors are members of his extended family. i.e. prison concessions are owned by his son-in-law) and his deputies are the most censured LEO's in the nation. His demeanor when dealing with the public is offensive, and he often makes personal attacks against critics.

One case comes to mind where he was held in contempt of court when called to testify against a juvenile who's arm he broke while making arrest. He stood up in front of the jury (having left the witness box against orders) and pointed at the juvenile and his parents and called them "worthless trailer trash that should be burned alive with their trailer, only the toxic fumes released would poison the environment."

The kid was arrested for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. The jury found him not guilty and Arpaio paid a $10k fine (actually the tax payers of Maricopa county paid the fine, as the Sheriff is indemnified from liability when conducting official business).

However, that being said, he is right on the money in this instance. He was elected to arrest those suspected of breaking the law and refer them for prosecution. He has NO discretion is determining which laws to enforce and which not to. IMHO illegal aliens are the root of crime in America today. Many crime syndicates have been built upon the illegal alien trade, and aliens by their nature degrade our society by openly showing contept for the laws that govern us all.

This enboldens the citizenry who see them getting away with "murder" to test the bonds that restrain them from other illegal activities. Nothing breeds more contempt for the government than laws enacted that are not enforced. The statement that there can't be a crime without a victim is utter BS. The people of the US are victimized every time an alien steals an American's job, welfare benefeits, etc. I want to see MORE prosecutions of illegal aliens. I would also like to see their employers sued for injuring the economy, their landlords (slum lords) for accessory after the fact, their family that aided them as co-conspirators.

When we allow blatant disregard for our laws and soverengty we allow the criminals to become the de-facto government and set national policy.

I say prosecute all 12 million of them and then deport them. Seize all of their personal assets and throw them out with only what they came with... the clothing on their backs and a couple bottles of water.

07-18-2006, 12:05 PM
When ethnic illegals enter and get arrested, no one says anything. Be it a latino, the press makes a field day of it. Come all legally and be welcome. Come illegal and go t jail. You broke the law. It seems so simple. I guess that's why so many are having problems understanding it.

07-18-2006, 12:47 PM
What gets my goat is these people protesting are members of the AMERICAN community. I'm not a member of the Irish community! Screw em- pack all of em up and kick their asses across the border. Texas beat the snot of out Mexico a while back, maybe it's time to do it again.

07-18-2006, 01:59 PM
If the Mexican government hadn't gone to such troubles of disarmed their people, I'd be willing to bet they'd be more than happy to have a revolution. There's essentially two social levels in Mexico, the really rich and the poor. There is no middle ground and that's what forces these people to try to sneak into the US to work. It's their system that needs to change, radically, to really stop this whole migration problem. We can set up mine fields and gun down anything that moves, it won't really stop them from trying to come.

Medula Oblongata
07-19-2006, 02:06 AM
President Theodore Roosevelt had a wonderful idea as to how to stop illegal immigration from mexico. "When we catch them sneaking across the border, we should give them a rifle, a case of ammunition, and send em' home to fix their own problems."

07-19-2006, 10:26 AM
Teddy may have something there! The key is sending them back.

07-19-2006, 11:37 AM
I remember seeing a program a while back, and they showed Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in it, and his "progarm" he had running for the inmates down there. I must say, I kind of liked the way that man thinks. :D

07-19-2006, 12:02 PM
President Theodore Roosevelt had a wonderful idea as to how to stop illegal immigration from mexico. "When we catch them sneaking across the border, we should give them a rifle, a case of ammunition, and send em' home to fix their own problems."
sounds like a good idea to me