LatinaLista — From all accounts, Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a calculating law enforcer. Just the kind high-crime cities want in combating drug dealers, murderers, rapists, robbers, pedophiles, etc. Except those kinds of criminals are not Arpaio’s specialty. He prefers the nonviolent type â€” people who actually have not created a criminal offense but a civil offense by being in the country illegally.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
For some reason, Arpaio feels undocumented immigrants are more dangerous than those who actually do physical harm on society, and that’s why he’s tied up his force to descend on a particular section of Phoenix, in broad daylight, to “enforce” those who were “driving brown.”
Yesterday, on Good Friday, Sheriff Arpaio decided it was a fitting day to persecute a group of people who decided Arizona was a state where they could find work, live and raise their families.
While it’s true that these people don’t have the proper paperwork authorizing them to live in the country, neither is it true that these people deserve to be subjected to the massive profiling that was conducted in the name of the law.
At the end of what was known as the Good Friday operation, 13 people had been arrested, nine of those suspected of being in the country illegally and four U.S. residents with either outstanding warrants or other offenses.
One of Sheriff Arpaio’s posse arrests an undocumented immigrant during a Good Friday operation. Arresting people who are not committing any visible criminal activity, and are being handcuffed for not being in the country with the proper paperwork, sends the wrong message to our Latino youth who feel the law is only “out to get” Latinos.
The Sheriff said he brought his operation to the area because local business owners had asked him to do it because of the day laborers who hang out in the area. Yet, if that was the case, why didn’t the business owners call on their own local police to patrol the area?
In other parts of the country where day laborers have proven to be an annoyance to local businesses, a consistent patrol of the area has been enough to deter day laborers from congregating too heavily in certain areas.
However, the local business owners called on the Sheriff to bring his “posse” because he is known to go specifically after undocumented immigrants. Last year, he did the same operation but at a furniture store.
In a town where Latinos comprise a significant portion of the population, no visual determination can be made whether or not someone is a legal resident or not.
So it seems odd that a city, county or state government, would allow the dollars for such a blatant manhunt for nonviolent, noncriminal offenders while the murderers, robbers and rapists are having a field day because of one man’s obsession with undocumented immigrants.
However, what’s worse is that the rest of the country remains silent while one man, under the guise of wearing the badge, conducts his own brand of justice that has nothing to do with making the city safer but ridding it of people who have a hunger to work.
Where is the justice in that?