Ben Buchwalter


Is Joe Arpaio the New George Wallace?
January 30, 2010, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Civil Rights, Crime and Justice, Mother Jones | Tags: , , , ,

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio continues to show the US government who’s boss. In October, the justice department tried, however ineffectively, to rein in the controversial law enforcer by barring his office from making immigration arrests in the field. Of course, Arpaio vowed to disobey. This reminds me of another American hooligan George Wallace, the governor who famously blocked African American students from entering a school in Alabama. Arpaio certainly seems to fit that mold:

The statute currently in question is section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which enables local officials to enforce immigration laws with the approval of the Department of Homeland Security. Jennifer Allen of the Tucson-based Border Action Network explains that either party can opt out of the agreement, as DHS did partially earlier this week. So, she said, it is now illegal for Arpaio to continue his immigration raids without the approval of DHS. “There are no state-level laws that say you can set up a check point in a predominantly low-income Latino neighborhood and start pulling people over left and right for insignificant pretenses.”

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