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Bring us Your Poor, Your Tired, Your Huddled, Illegal Masses…

October 9, 2009


Joe Arpaio, known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” is very good at what he does. Sheriff Arpaio has been in charge of the Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff’s Office (the third largest Sheriff’s Office in the country), since 1993. He has been re-elected an unprecedented five times, and has earned high approval ratings from local citizens. “The public is my boss,” he says, “so I serve the public.”

There are over 10,000 inmates under Arpaio’s jurisdiction, and he has had some novel approaches as to how they should be treated. For example, Arpaio established the nation’s largest “Tent City” for inmates, which houses thousands. He re-instituted the chain gang system (including the world’s first-ever female chain gang), where inmates cleaned streets, whitewashed over graffiti, and maintained public parks and cemeteries — their free labor saving taxpayers thousands of dollars annually.

Arpaio’s inmates are not permitted to smoke, drink coffee, or watch movies or unrestricted TV. They are fed meals costing an average of 35 cents apiece, just twice a day. He even removed salt and pepper from the menu, saving taxpayers $20,000 a year. The male inmates all wear pink underwear and socks, sleep on pink sheets, and use pink towels. When they go out to work, they wear the old-style black and white striped uniform (which clashes nicely with the pink shirts and socks).


Arpaio has instituted a very successful anti-substance-abuse program and runs an accredited high school in the prison system whereby inmates can earn their diplomas. Not surprisingly, the rate of recidivism in Maricopa County is much lower than in other counties with similar population densities.

In 2007 Sheriff Arpaio signed on to an agreement with Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security, whereby the federal government authorized local law-enforcement officials to receive powers, under section 282(g) of the Immigration and Nationalization Act, to enforce federal immigration laws. In typical fashion, Sheriff Arpaio did a very good job. Perhaps too good, as currently over 33% of the inmates housed in Sheriff Arpaio’s facilities are illegal aliens (who, as a group, account for more than 53% of violent crimes in Maricopa County).

And so, predictably, he is now in trouble with the administration of President Barack Obama–which has a soft spot for illegal aliens. As Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! program reports:

…the Obama administration has announced it’s curbing the powers of an Arizona sheriff who’s faced widespread accusations of racial profiling and discriminately enforcing federal immigration laws. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will no longer have the authority to arrest people suspected of being undocumented immigrants. Maricopa County deputies will now only be allowed to determine immigration status when a prisoner has been jailed. Despite the new restrictions, Arpaio is vowing to continue pursuing undocumented workers under his authority as an elected sheriff.

Goodman’s report failed to note one important thing: What Sheriff Arpaio has aptly demonstrated, actually, is that the powers bestowed upon him under section 282(g) have been extremely effective in making the streets of Maricopa County safer. Thousands of illegal aliens apprehended for other crimes have been identified and subsequently deported.

So why is it then, that instead of being thanked for his success, Sheriff Arpaio is being punished?

Ask the Sheriff, and he’ll tell you unhesitatingly:

“It’s all politics.”

Why else would the Obama administration work so hard to strip him and other local law-enforcement officials of a very effective means of apprehending illegal aliens?

  1. October 9, 2009 8:37 am

    Newsflash for lefties:

    A bad poem on an old French statue is NOT an immigration policy.

    • winoceros permalink
      October 9, 2009 12:57 pm

      The operative word in that poem is “door”. They seem to forget that.

  2. In the know permalink
    October 9, 2009 8:40 am

    I disagree. I think it’s the typical government employee/union worker jealousy. Joe is a government employee doing his job well. Therefore making them look bad. So, they tell the union boss and he drops the hammer. We created this mess when we stopped caring about accountability and responsibility.

  3. draconianmeasures permalink
    October 9, 2009 2:29 pm

    It’s going to get a lot more difficult for those yearning to breathe free not to suffocate

  4. October 10, 2009 11:46 am

    Give Sheriff Joe Arpaio the Nobel Peace Prize

    Obama doesn’t want Illegals to leave the U.S. Obama wants more of them to come and live here. After all, Obama is a Socialist and his goal is to lower the standard of living so that we are all equal and dependant on the government. Obama’s vision of American is what Hugo Chavez has in Venezuela, or Ahmadinejad has in Iran. Obama and his Socialist/Democrats in Washington are after full control of our lives, from the cradle to the grave. Once Obama legalizes the Illegals, he know and can expect their votes. Obama hates America and wants to change it into another banana republic. America needs more citizens like Joe Arpaio, and less like Obama.

    I’d rather have given the Nobel Prize to Arpaio, after all he is keeping the peace in Maricopa County, Arizona. Thats more then we can say for Obama who can’t keep his own folks from killing each other off in Chicago. Whack! Oh that hurt.


  5. Joe W permalink
    October 10, 2009 2:43 pm

    I almost have to agree with fox, only because since taking office, Obama has almost destroyed this economy. Since he thinks the way to save it is to flood the streets with more criminals, and people who will work for less than the minimum wage, he’s all for it.

    He’s also instituted the minimum wage raise, which put more people out of business, most notably, teenagers who want to earn some cash.

    He’s gone after banks, and auto makers, and the hospitals, next he’ll go after small businessmen, and finally, after anyone who even has two dimes.

    We need to get him out of office, before the communist flag is flying over the white house.

    ’nuff said.

    • Brian permalink
      October 10, 2009 6:58 pm

      Too late the Chi-coms already flew it.

  6. Darrius Jeddburgh permalink
    October 10, 2009 7:13 pm

    Maybe if obumba had been born in the U.S. and was a legitimate president he would’nt be so opposed to protecting the borders.


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