Saturday, October 31, 2009
‘Toughest Sheriff’ Targeted by Feds
Phoenix, Ariz. is now the kidnapping capital of America, and ranks second worldwide only behind Mexico City. Phoenix—the nation’s fifth largest city—is located in Maricopa County, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been trying to combat an increasing crime wave associated with illegal immigration.
Of all the illegal aliens incarcerated in Maricopa County jails, 70 percent were arrested for felony crimes, including murder, drug trafficking, assault, kidnapping, DUI, robbery, forgery, and human smuggling. The violence at certain points on the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated to such alarming levels that John Gibler, author of Mexico Unconquered, stated in a March 25 interview that we are facing a “bloody, very real war over territory.”
Narco-traffickers run rampant in Sinaloa, their gunmen execute rival drug dealers at will, while over 50 Mexican journalists have been slain since 2000. El Manana editor Ramon Cantu says with dire certainty, “All of our journalists who cover sensitive subjects, especially drug trafficking, have been the targets of threats and violence.”
Considering the “war” that is spilling over into this country, a variety of governmental forces are actually attempting to stop the law enforcement activities of Sheriff Joe Arpaio instead of assisting in his efforts. As it stands now, four separate entities are investigating and/or trying to thwart him: Eric Holder and the Justice Department, Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security, ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], and a House Judiciary Committee led by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).
The Bush administration played it soft on the illegal immigration issue. But at least they didn’t interfere with Arpaio trying to uphold the law, especially when his men were doing ICE’s job for them.
On October 14, Rebecca Larsen of The Washington Times wrote about their 287(g) program. “This law permits local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration functions traditionally reserved for the federal government— such as holding illegal immigrants when arrested.”
But in an article by Andrea Christina Nill of the L.A. Progressive on October 7, “Arpaio believes the White House is going out of its way to single him out and curb his immigration-policing powers for political reasons.”
To reinforce his claims, the sheriff cites a meeting between the mayor of Phoenix and Holder that led to an investigation being opened two months later. Secondly, he notes the intervention of former Arizona governor—and now DHS head—Janet Napolitano.
“She has her mission. She works for the president. She has to report to the White House and take orders from them.” In addition, ACORN is launching petition drives against Arpaio, while the ACLU has filed lawsuits for “racial profiling.”
In the face of this adversity, Arpaio has stuck to his guns. “I don’t report to governors, I report to the people,” he told Jim Meyers of Newsmax on October 21. “The feds are not the boss of me.”
That’s why Arpaio has continued his street sweeps, raiding work sites that hire illegals, and arresting “coyotes” who smuggle human cargo into America. Drug dealers and gang-bangers also remain firmly in his crosshairs. And if ICE won’t accept the criminals delivered to them, Arpaio says assuredly, “I’ll have to transport them to the border myself.”
Believe these words, because Arpaio hasn’t backed down in the past. He’s the man who established a “tent city” to handle more prisoners, made male prisoners wear pink underwear, cut out salt and pepper from their meals, and placed men and women on chain gangs.
Barack Obama’s henchmen don’t scare him in the least. “I’m not worried about a thing. I’m a fighter.”
Could a more sinister element be lurking behind the vendetta against Arpaio, similar to how a private security firm rolled into Hardin, Mont. and tried to eliminate the local sheriff’s office? Could such moves be part of a larger, nationwide plan?
As Devey Kidd wrote for News With Views on Dec. 12, 2002, “The sheriff of your county is the highest elected official and has more power than most people realize. Your local sheriff has the power to tell dragoons from various federal alphabet soup agencies that they will not come into their county and attempt to enforce unconstitutional ‘laws’. Your local sheriff is there to protect your rights, not the actions of an out-of-control government.”
Are DHS, ICE, DOJ, and the Obama White House all plotting to handcuff Sheriff Arpaio’s ability to enforce the law as step one in a larger attempt to nullify local officials, only to have their authority replaced by Uncle Sam’s cronies? If this is a precedent, Arpaio has thus far defied their heavy-handed actions by continuing to parade arrested illegals before television cameras. His example needs to be followed by more of his colleagues before its too late.