Are Your Papers in Order?

The Sanchezes are American citizens who've been in this country longer than Joe Arpaio's family. The Sanchezes are criminally brown.

Elaine Sanchez understands Guadalupe, Arizona, as well as she understands her six children. She was born and raised in the village of 5,500 souls hard by the freeway and the conventional suburbs of Tempe and Phoenix.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio put Guadalupe on the nation's map during his anti-immigrant sweep last April.

It is Lent — in fact, a mere five days past Ash Wednesday. Already the Catholic community is deep in preparation for Easter Sunday. But more than piety grips Guadalupe. Elaine bounces Marcus, her toddler, on her knee and despairs of small-town gossip: "Everyone knows everyone here."

One of Joe Arpaio's masked enforcers.
One of Joe Arpaio's masked enforcers.
Sanchez family children sell drinks to raise money for those nabbed in MCSO sweeps.
Sanchez family children sell drinks to raise money for those nabbed in MCSO sweeps.
Andrew Sanchez believes Arpaio’s deputies have targeted him and his family because he dared to speak out.
Andrew Sanchez believes Arpaio’s deputies have targeted him and his family because he dared to speak out.
Mistaken identity? Manuel Valenzuela says MCSO deputies drew guns on him after he was stopped while driving Andrew Sanchez's car.
Mistaken identity? Manuel Valenzuela says MCSO deputies drew guns on him after he was stopped while driving Andrew Sanchez's car.
Elaine Sanchez holding baby Marcus.
Elaine Sanchez holding baby Marcus.
Elaine Sanchez banged on her back door, screaming for her mother, before she was wrestled down by the sheriff's men.
Elaine Sanchez banged on her back door, screaming for her mother, before she was wrestled down by the sheriff's men.

The 32-year-old lives in her childhood home. Tired nails, aged wood, and weary plasterboard make up the barest skin against the Sonoran Desert's heat and chill. Streetside, kids' clothing dries along the length of rickety chain-link. (Does anyone have more tops and bottoms than a 2-year-old?)

Nearby, two strapping sons sweep the dirt and rake. Their nascent facial hair cannot disguise a youngster's impulse to bound, or to punch a shoulder. Discovered leaping over a fence recently, they were questioned by law enforcement. Their explanation of their behavior was straightforward: hide-and-seek.

As the teenage boys tidy up, an unbalanced washing machine bangs against the outside of the home while, yards away in the back, an abandoned van squats.

The broken-down Dodge, fast becoming a rusting rumpus room, is the stuff of story in the Sanchez home, as well as in Guadalupe at large.

Tracked for nearly a mile by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies last May, when the Dodge still ran, Elaine became alarmed, and then terrified, as the lawmen followed closely without ever turning on their lights. Her anxiety surpassed anything associated with an ordinary ticket; her family had already exchanged tales about this sort of enforcement.

For more Joe Arpaio's abuses of power, see our special report section.

Elaine drove the van into her backyard. After banging on the back door and screaming for her own mother, she was wrestled to the ground by the sheriff's men. Sanchez's boys emerged from their home to find their mother flat in the dirt with a deputy's knee in her back as she was roughly handcuffed.

The light over her license plate was out.

This is not an unknown crime in Elaine's neighborhood.

Indeed, Elaine Sanchez was no stranger to the sheriff's deputies who'd wrangled with her on the ground; one of them later volunteered that he recognized her from an earlier visit.

Sanchez and her family believe they have been targeted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's men as part of the fallout from the lawman's infamous anti-immigrant sweep in Guadalupe.

And here's the rub: In spite of their last name, none of the Sanchezes is Mexican. None of them is in the United States illegally.

All members of the Sanchez family are Yaqui Indians. They are all American citizens. They are as legal as the sheriff's family.

They are, however, brown.

On March 4, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Mississippi) worried aloud that the 287(g) program — the enabling act that turns cops into immigration officers — was "using minor traffic violations instead of major crimes" to harass Hispanics.

Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has no idea.

The genteel concerns of an uninformed Mississippi legislator are so beside the point as to be quaint.

Motorists in Maricopa County are confronted today by deputies in ski masks, guns drawn.

Ski masks.

The slightest pretext elicits the question: Are your papers in order?

With this article, we begin an occasional series to introduce the people swept up in this madness. The individuals you will meet in this installment are all Americans. But eventually, you will also shake hands with illegal aliens.

Neighbors, one and all.

Earlier skirmishes at Pruitt's furniture store and the sheriff's illegal alien sweeps on Thomas Road, as well as in Cave Creek, were only warm-up exercises. The thrust to turn immigration enforcement into a reign of terror reached critical mass on April 3, 2008, in Guadalupe, Arizona. Mounted horsemen, deputies in unmarked cars, and bulked-up lawmen with shaved heads faced off against villagers and protesters.

Sheriff Arpaio set up his massive command post in the parking lot of the Family Dollar store. Demonstrators, mostly Hispanic, ringed the parking lot chanting, holding signs, urging cars to honk. The glare from ubiquitous television lights competed with the flashing decks of squad cars.

Everywhere you looked, people, pedestrians, and drivers alike had been stopped. Are you a United States citizen? Is your car in perfect compliance with the minutiae of the state Motor Vehicle Division?

These are questions that play hell with the poor.

The massive two-day show of force — Arpaio said he employed 200 deputies and posse members — netted nine illegals.

And when the mayor of Guadalupe told Sheriff Joe Arpaio that he wasn't welcome to terrorize her neighbors, the lawman exploded in front of the media.

On April 3, Andrew Sanchez, Elaine's brother, drove friends and family right into the heart of history. Caught up in the moment, he honked his horn.

His show of support for the protest broke the law.

Like John the Baptist, Sanchez prepared the way for the sheriff; the night before the lawmen swooped into Guadalupe, Andrew ringed the town with signs warning the residents that Arpaio was coming.

On the day of the raid, Sanchez posted another hand-painted message: "If you are profiled or harassed, call me."

Andrew works as a resident program specialist at the Arizona State Hospital. More importantly, he has an automobile that functions. In a poor community, a man with a car is a busy fellow.

"Before the sun went below the mountains, people started gathering in anticipation of Arpaio," said Sanchez. "And people called me for rides to work. They were afraid to walk, afraid to drive themselves."

The daughter of a former elected official phoned. She'd been stopped while on foot and forced to produce identification. She asked Sanchez to take her to her home, where she had more anti-Arpaio signs.

"When we got to her house, she grabbed shoe polish," recalled Sanchez. "She wrote on my car window: 'Proud to be brown' and 'Go home, Arpaio.'"

After serving as an impromptu taxi driver, Sanchez picked up his sister Elaine, who was the swing-shift supervisor at Jack in the Box.

As they eased past the Family Dollar store and drove through Arpaio's "crime suppression," Sanchez tooted his horn.

He was promptly pulled over, and after producing registration, license, and proof of insurance, he was interrogated. Sanchez was ticketed for honking his horn. The lawmen commented upon the anti-Arpaio signs in his backseat and the greased windows asking the sheriff to leave Guadalupe.

Although a judge tossed the complaint, Sanchez believes strongly that Arpaio's deputies have targeted him and his family because he dared to speak out.

Later in April, on his way to a graduation party, Sanchez was pulled over once more, this time for a broken taillight.

Sanchez's brother-in-law, Manuel Val­enzuela, borrowed Andrew's car in April to take his wife dinner where she works.

He operated the vehicle without a valid driver's license; when the deputies flashed their lights, he turned into his mother's yard instead of promptly pulling over.

Valenzuela claims the officers emerged from their car with guns drawn. They handcuffed and arrested Valenzuela.

He had driven Andrew's car with the high beams on.

Sanchez said that for all the officers knew, the person driving the car was Andrew himself. He is suspicious. His car was impounded, and the deputies made a number of calls to relatives announcing that they'd impounded Andrew's car.

That next month, on May 28, his sister Elaine was confronted in her own yard and arrested.

She was told that the light illuminating her license plate was out. But the officers who put her in jail never charged her with that offense. Indeed, as she drove south on Avenida del Yaqui, the deputies drove north, in the opposite direction. They had to make a U-turn to follow her.

They made the U-turn to follow her before they could see her rear license plate.

Elaine Sanchez was ordered to appear in court on July 1, 2008. A judge dismissed the disorderly conduct charge.

Sanchez and her kin believe that the deputies focused on her family to make a point: Political dissent does not change who runs Guadalupe.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs Guadalupe.

It is worth remembering that the mayor of Guadalupe's confrontation with Arpaio was on April 3, the first night of the immigration sweep.

The sheriff told the press that he'd been invited into Guadalupe by the village's administrators.

But on the night of the raid, Mayor Rebecca Jimenez handed Arpaio a press release calling for an end to the roundup. Guadalupe's leaders had not summoned the sheriff.

In front of rolling television cameras, Arpaio erupted.

"Forget the press release!" said the sheriff. "That doesn't matter. Action is what speaks . . . You said you didn't want us back here tomorrow. Is that what you said?"

"Yes," replied the mayor.

"Well, we will be back here tomorrow. Full force!"

Arpaio then threatened the mayor.

"If you don't like the way I operate, you go get your own police department," said the sheriff. "You've got 90 days to cancel your contract — 90 days. You wanna cancel it, feel free to."

Arpaio's troops did, indeed, return. The next day, his deputies circled the square during the confirmation ceremony of youngsters at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church. Families terrified of being swept up in the dragnet avoided the religious rite or sent their children with others.

Two weeks later, on April 18, Sheriff Arpaio made good on his threat to Mayor Jimenez. He notified Guadalupe that it had 180 days to "study and research the law enforcement needs of the community and explore other law enforcement alternatives.

"I want nothing to do with [Mayor Jimenez] and the little town of Guadalupe," said Arpaio.

In the weeks that followed, the impoverished community learned that it could not afford to hire either Phoenix or Tempe to patrol its streets; Guadalupe had to swallow its pride. Jimenez was forced out as mayor, in part, by council members offended that she had raised Arpaio's ire and potentially lost the town its police services. A new mayor was installed, and the village approached Arpaio on bended knee and asked that he return.

This vengeance by Sheriff Arpaio was hardly an isolated act.

In an April 3 press release announcing his Guadalupe roundup of illegal immigrants, the sheriff took the time to attack former legislator Alfredo Gutierrez, who had dared to criticize Arpaio on Radio Campesina.

In a recent interview, Gutierrez said the retaliation went beyond words.

Gutierrez said that when he emerged from Portland's, a bar and restaurant on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, after his comments on the radio, he found Arpaio's plainclothes deputies waiting for him.

Gutierrez, who no longer drinks, had consumed nothing stronger than alcohol-free O'Doul's.

In any case, Sheriff Arpaio's men do not run sobriety checkpoints in downtown Phoenix, let alone stop individuals in this fashion.

Contacted by New Times, the Sheriff's Office did not respond when asked to comment on any of the claims made in this story except to say that the request for reaction "will be processed."

"It is just a fact of life," said Gutierrez. "Those of us who have spoken out are followed by Arpaio's men."

Andrew Sanchez, like Gutierrez, believes he is a target and that Arpaio is going after his family.

Arpaio's behavior during the April immigrant roundup garnered national attention and criticism from the New York Times, which noted in an editorial: "The Mayor of Guadalupe implored (Arpaio) to leave her community alone. State and county officials have pointed out that Sheriff Joe has ignored tens of thousands of outstanding criminal warrants while chasing day laborers and headlines."

This is not entirely accurate.

In fact, Arpaio's deputies found one warrant they could execute.

They served it on Elaine Sanchez's husband, Andrew Sanchez's brother-in-law, Manuel Valenzuela.

In January of this year, Valenzeula paid the $135 fine that resulted from the arrest by the Sheriff's Office last April.

One month later, on February 4, as he walked out of Soto's Store in Guadalupe, he was handcuffed and arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Manuel Valenzuela still owed 40 cents on the $135 ticket he'd paid off.

"In Guadalupe, you make a bad name in the town and everybody knows," explained Elaine Sanchez. "I've lived in the same home all my life. My aunt's next door, my uncle. You talk to someone who's not your husband, they assume something. It's like community policing. There's no point in introducing someone. There are no strangers."

Andrew Sanchez believes that is the problem. In such a tiny place, he and his family are known all too well to Sheriff Arpaio's deputies.

On a recent weekend, he drove past the village square. Inside the dusty field sits a Catholic church. Next door is a Yaqui temple. Residents nearby have erected three crosses in anticipation of Easter.

On Holy Thursday, a Yaqui ceremony will unfold. Chapayekas, "long-nosed" soldiers who search for Jesus throughout Lent, will seize an effigy of Christ. The fariseos will then re-enact the crucifixion. But the message of resurrection inspires hope, and the Yaqui know how to resist the authorities.

Deer dancers, caballeros, matachines, and pascolas intervene on behalf of the people. You hear their rattles.

Then . . . something wondrous!

The fariseos and chapayekas are pelted with flowers.

The miracle of Christ's passion grips Guadalupe.

But it is not quite Easter Sunday. Not yet.

Meanwhile, Andrew Sanchez has found his own way to resist authority every Saturday morning in front of the community garden. Little kids ladle out drinks and pass out fliers announcing that they are raising funds "to help people who cannot afford to repair any broken taillights or tag lights, broken windshields, etc."

Everyone knows these children. They're the Sanchez kids: brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews.

The Sanchez family refuses to endure in the barrio's shadows.

They fight back with lemonade.

On Tuesday, March 10, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Justice Department notified Sheriff Arpaio that he was under investigation for "patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures."

This response follows the call from four congressmen as well as the mayor of Phoenix for a federal probe into the sheriff's immigrant sweeps. One of those four congressmen, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Con­yers (D-Michigan), has promised hearings on Arpaio's immigration sweeps soon.

Belligerent and defiant, Arpaio announced that he would not be intimidated. He vowed to fight in court and, if necessary, to drop out of the federal 287(g) program and use state laws to hunt down immigrants. In a county that rejected Barack Obama and re-elected Joe Arpaio for the fifth time, the sheriff's posture palpitated with rabble-rousing indignation.

You'll have to excuse Huey Long's envy.

Crimson petals and lemonade, prayer and passive resistance — all have withered before Arpaio's reflexive sneer.

A new question is upon us:

Will subpoenas wipe the rictus of contempt for the Constitution from the sheriff's face, or is it Miller time for Mussolini?

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29 comments
A Nonny Mouse
A Nonny Mouse

What a lovely piece of one-sided drivel. You so clearly paint the picture of the innocent victims and the brutal oppressive sheriff.

What's sad is that fools like you, who have never outgrown the adolescent need to defy authority, can't see that Arpaio is doing his job by enforcing the law. You're more interested in rhetoric than what is best for the community. Example: You categorized Arpaio as being anti-immigrant. He has done nothing to justify that statement. He enforces the immigration laws that are on the books. In that respect, he is "anti-illegal immigrant". Of course, that trivial little word is suspiciously absent in your opinion piece disguised as real news.

Let me ask you this: is it legal to drive with a license plate that is not illuminated? How did these deputies know that she was "brown" if it was dark enough to know that her license plate light was out? Why did she make a break for her door rather than approaching the deputies like anybody else would have? What was the immigration status of the people who were afraid to drive to work? On a side note, what happens if an illegal immigrant totals your car? Does he/she have insurance? Almost certainly not. Let's say you are among the millions of *legal* immigrant workers who can only afford liability insurance, and now you have no way to get to work? Now, an immigrant family, who is here legally, who went through the legal process, as did my grandfather, is impacted by an individual who is here illegally. Does that seem fair to you? Does it seem fair to any other of the millions of *legal* immigrants who waited their turn and followed the immigration process?

Is it legal to honk your horn arbitrarily? Is it legal to drive without a license? Is it legal to drive with a broken tail light? Is it legal to, rather than pulling over immediately, pull into your mother's yard? How about "failure to dim" one's high beams, is that legal?

Small towns like Guadalupe enter into contracts with counties for law enforcement services because they cannot afford to employ a police department themselves. It is not up to a mayor of a small town to tell the sheriff who patrols their streets to ignore certain laws, while enforcing others. I fully support Arpaio in calling her bluff. Her removal seems perfectly justified, not for "raising the ire" of the evil Joe Arpaio, but for showing by example, as a government official, that certain laws are OK to ignore if you disagree with them.

Your amateurish rant in the local rag, more famous for its ads for hookers than the relevance of its articles, does nothing more than expose you as a wannabe political hack.

Viva Arpaio!!!

Keith
Keith

I would like to leave a comment on here that truly reflects my feelings but I think Sheriff Arpaio would mistake me for a Mexican (which is easy to do after I have tanned for the summer).

It's insane that his Gestapo like policies can survive in today's climate.

Brent
Brent

Had this horrible stench coming from my computer....thought it reeked of Lefty pablum...sure enough...found the source in an alternative bird cage liner....See the "Hate America"crowd is all here....The racists from La Raza,spoiled White Lib children of privillage and all the other uninformed,hand wringers who would love to see the USA become a 3rd world cesspool...A place so hideous and sleazy they would feel right at home.....Keep talking Libs....We true Americans(of ALL races)are ready for revolution too....I personally would keep all the hard working Illegals and deport White Libs if it were up to me!Maybe someday you haters will see that Civil Rights come with responsible ,law obeying behavior!

Chris Vreeland
Chris Vreeland

As today's students of history remember Bull Connor, tomorrow's students will remember Arpayaso. Both were two-bit sheriffs who made national news. Both ultimately failed.

Chris Vreeland
Chris Vreeland

There is a reason Arpaio is becoming known as "Arpayaso" - this clown needs to be shut down. I will not stand by quietly while the American way of life is trampled into the dust.

Actually, Arpayaso is helping us because he makes the racism behind the anti-immigrant crowd's rhetoric rather difficult to deny.

MYK
MYK

Minnesota Slime...did you not read the part that stated these are AMERICAN CITIZENS. Born and raised here like you and me. Well not like you. Most Americans understand Civil Rights. You are an embarassment to our country.

david saint
david saint

Minnesota Slim, you shouldnt talk about things you know NOTHING ABOUT...just some info for yet another ingorant moron who doesnt even live in this state, but there are kidnappings daily occuring and what has joe done about it?? arrested and deported the very same people that the kidnappers target, NOT THE KIDNAPPERS...he goes after the little guys, the janitors, the lawn mowers (except the ones that work for his largest campaign contributor that is, Turf paradise), not the real threats to our society..see, i think that rapists, murderers, PEDOPHILES (like the one that his moronic employees let escape) are more of a threat than a man or woman that gets up and goes to work every day to make an honest buck...also, unless you think its appropriate to hush critics by investigating and/or arresting them on charges that NEVER have stuck, then you should rethink your opinion..if you do support that, well your nothing more than a right wing fascist and your view of patriotism is seriously flawed....

Hock
Hock

I still would like an explaination why it's appropriate for the deputies to wear balaclavas. They're not undercover. Just disguises should be forbidden unless authorized by staff and there should be a reason for it. They are civil servants, and serve the public.

Minnesota Slim
Minnesota Slim

Sheriff Arpio is not only doing an outstanding job for the people of Maricopa County, the rest of the country owes him a debt of gratitude for keeping hordes of illegals from making it past the AZ state line.

It's telling that the only people that are criticizing him are America hating leftists and the illegals themselves.

Good on ya, Sheriff Joe!

Minnesota Slim
Minnesota Slim

Sheriff Arpio is not only doing an outstanding job for the people of Maricopa County, the rest of the country owes him a debt of gratitude for keeping hordes of illegals from making it past the AZ state line.

It's telling that the only people that are criticizing him are America hating leftists and the illegals themselves.

Good on ya, Sheriff Joe!

Another Yaqui from Guadalupe
Another Yaqui from Guadalupe

A question I wonder if Lacey might answer in a subsequent article, for the rabid Arpaio supporters:

1. It is against the law for a law-enforcement officer to pull over someone when they have ulterior motives, ie, stopping someone for a broken taillight just because they do not like the individual in the car? (I have argued this strenuously with Arpaio supporters, and they all disagree: They say police are within their rights -- "The Law is the law," they say. But, court rulings born out of 1960s civil-rights cases should make it clear that it is illegal for police to use false motives to harass and intimidate. So, Lacey, can you help out by pointing out court rulings that specifically indicate that MCSO is breaking the law? That would help.)

Coz
Coz

If it wasn't for the grand standing of illegal immigration that Bozo Joe is doing currently, he would be still be as corrupt as ever, as he has been for the last 10 years, long before he jumped on the illegal immigration band wagon. The fact is pro Bozo Joe supporters can't see the forest through the trees and think it's ok to be corrupt as long as you pander to the immigration situation. According to them, it's ok to break the law to enforce the law no matter how corrupt Bozo Joe is in 99.% of everything else Bozo Joe does. As Lisa Allen once said, only the uneducated vote for Bozo Joe. The post by Pro Bozo Joe supporters prove this over and over.

david saint
david saint

first, great article, very candid and pointed. its too bad that the ignorant masses cant pull their heads out of the sand long enough to just take a serious look at what goes on. Its not a secret, those that support him either dont want to face the facts and would rather champion some conspiracy theory rather than accept it, or just flat out are too lazy to take the time to know. I talk to the latter usually, and they have such a hard time believing the facts i lay out to them they THEN go and look at it. This is pure abuse of power, and as im sure your going to continue to detail in future reports, this is not an isolated incident. Its the norm for MCSO and joe, almost like a daily fix of herion for them like a junkie. Its appalling, ludacris, and has no place in America. That said i know it happens all over, but not from someone who constantly demands the spotlight be on them...well there is Robert Mugabe, and there once was Hitler.... Its rather shocking though that the pro joe crowd are actually upset that the justice department is doing what it needs to do to protect EVERYONEs rights, not just illegals. The ignorant need to comprehend that if its allowed just once, it WILL continue, it wont just stop there. History has showed us this fact. I hold out hope for the future, and that doesnt just mean im happy joe could be arrested because frankly i dont think it will ever happen. It will however make him check his ego at the door, and it should scare him straight..that is if he continues to want to be a top law enforcement official. let me repeat that for you joe, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL. That doesnt say POLITICAL OFFICIAL anywhere...Law enforcement doesnt mean you enforce the laws you want. Law enforcement doesnt mean you interpret the law as you see fit, or manipulate it for personal gains. its to be followed to the T, no if, ands, or buts about it. My feeling is if they cant do it without playing politics, dont do it at all. The job is law enforcement, and no matter how many times the pro joe crowd keeps screaming "hes just enforcing the law" its not going to make it the truth until he ACTUALLY follows through on it. And lets be honest, MCSO let someone escape from their custody that is far more criminal than anyone they have apprehended during joes tenure. His MO at the DEA was the easy arrests, hence the name Nickel bag. That MO seems to have followed him to MCSO. Why else would he send 60 deputies to arrest 3 janitors? is that a wise use of resources, paying how much overtime in these tough economic times to arrest 3 people they could have done anytime? Was Swat gear really needed to apprehend these hardened criminals? Heres one for you, how many lives could have been saved if MCSO had put due dilligence and effort into tracking and arresting the Serial shooters had they not been so busy getting fkd and blown by prostitutes they were supposed to be getting evidence on to make arrests? And why did all those cases get tossed again??? i look forward to the upcoming stories Mr Lacy..and thanks for your courage and Patriotism in the face of adversity!!

Johnny Come Lately
Johnny Come Lately

Mr. Lacey, don't blame me for this. I'm just copying and pasting what they sent me. Sincerely, Big "O."

So now Johnny O'Sullivan goes by a new nickname, the Big "O"? Would that stand for orgasm, like the one you have in your pants every time you post and see your name in print? You are a fucking slimeball disgrace to Irishmen everywhere! Your posts are nonsensical, off topic ramblings that expose your idiocy and self serving motives.Global Equity is merely a false front for some poor shmuck's beef with local law enforcement. What, did they pass you up for that promotion? No wonder, considering the lack of intelligence displayed in your diatribes in this forum.Johnny, you make yourself such an easy target, you cabbage eatin', potato peelin', whiskey swillin' gas bag! Do the world a favor and put a round in the .38 caliber toothbrush. Put that old service revolver to good use one last time.

Coz
Coz

I still find it amazing that Trent even said that bullshit.

If Trend had any brains he'd know the 44 million Bozo Joe has cost Maricopa County tax payers, all the deaths in Maricopa County Jails, the continual Constitutional abuses and everything else Bozo Joe does and hides from public view is NOT protecting the citizens of Maricopa County.

Trend is just another worthless bullshit politician to dumb to be anything else but a politician..

Michael
Michael

That's a horrible story and should absolutely NOT be tolerated in America! What have we become? Are we back in the 50's and 60's? Have we learned anything at all what has come about from racially targeting innocent people because the color of their skin? This is just one of the thousands of people who were wrongfully accused of being illegal aliens. The exact same thing happened to my uncle but he never reported it. Think about it: It'their word over his. Poeple are such idiots nowadays. Just because someone is anti-illegal alien does not mean that he or she is a good person who upholds the law. The KKK are anti-illegal too you know! Also, I thought Sheriff Joe is the man who makes sure all laws are followed. Funny,because when Barkely got arrested for a DUI, he served less time than you're usual loser, got his own protection, and practically rested for the weekend. That is not upholding the law, that is bending the rules for someone who isn't even famous. Sheriff Joe should turn in his bagde as well as any officers who agree with him (I'm sure it's mostly all of them).

Michael
Michael

That's a horrible story and should absolutely NOT be tolerated in America! What have we become? Are we back in the 50's and 60's? Have we learned anything at all what has come about from racially targeting innocent people because the color of their skin? This is just one of the thousands of people who were wrongfully accused of being illegal aliens. The exact same thing happened to my uncle but he never reported it. Think about it: It'their word over his. Poeple are such idiots nowadays. Just because someone is anti-illegal alien does not mean that he or she is a good person who upholds the law. The KKK are anti-illegal too you know! Also, I thought Sheriff Joe is the man who makes sure all laws are followed. Funny,because when Barkely got arrested for a DUI, he served less time than you're usual loser, got his own protection, and practically rested for the weekend. That is not upholding the law, that is bending the rules for someone who isn't even famous. Sheriff Joe should turn in his bagde as well as any officers who agree with him (I'm sure it's mostly all of them).

The Freedom Bell doesn't ring
The Freedom Bell doesn't ring

Trent Franks stood on the Biltmore stage during the McCain concession speech with wrapped in the American flag expounding Freedom for all in America. Unfortunately it was polltical rhetoric that sounds good, fools the people but the reality of life in Arizona is that few are "Free".

Stacy
Stacy

I think it's interesting that Good 'Ol Boy Trent Franks says that in the article posted above (thanks Coz) because it was Trent Franks that wrote a letter denouncing the picking up of religious leaders that were praying in Spanish out in the forest for a religious retreat.

So let me get this straight, Trent: It's ok to pick up folks perceived to be illegal and perception comes from the language they're speaking, the music they listen to or the color of their skin. But if they're religious and the churches are upset, then write a letter standing up for them??? Give me a f... break. You're a two-faced hypocrite.

Coz
Coz

Feds' new tone puts Arpaio in hot seatD.C. leaders now more likely to hear profiling complaintsby Dan Nowicki - Mar. 15, 2009 12:00 AMThe Arizona Republic Few are feeling the change that President Barack Obama has brought to Washington more acutely than Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Not yet two months into the Obama administration, the veteran Republican lawman finds himself under investigation by the Justice Department following complaints that his office employs unconstitutional practices in enforcing immigration laws. On Capitol Hill, a high-profile congressional committee is preparing to hold an investigative hearing into whether Arpaio's operation discriminates against Latinos. And, based at least partly on Arpaio's record, the Homeland Security Department is revising the rules of the federal program, known as 287(g), that gives federal immigration-enforcement authority to Arpaio and other local officials around the country.

The controversial and popular five-term sheriff chalks the probes up to politics. But others say a renewed focus on civil rights has prompted the scrutiny. Attorney General Eric Holder made it clear in his Senate confirmation hearing that he intended to make safeguarding civil rights a priority again. Holder's previous tenure at the Justice Department, as a deputy attorney general during President Bill Clinton's administration, was marked by a keen attention to police racial-profiling complaints.

Racial-profiling complaints were virtually ignored during President George W. Bush's eight-year term. And the Justice Department's inspector general recently blistered the Civil Rights Division for the unlawful politicization of personnel actions during the Bush era. Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to characterize the Arpaio inquiry as the administration's first major probe, saying that would be "a bit subjective." She confirmed that the Civil Rights Division has opened other investigations since Holder took office.

"Both in tone and in content, the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division has changed dramatically," said Paul Charlton, who was U.S. attorney for Arizona from 2001 to 2006 and now represents Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley in a criminal case brought by Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Stapley maintains he is innocent of the charges, which relate to real-estate and business deals that prosecutors allege were not properly disclosed.

One outside expert doubted that Arpaio is the victim of political persecution by the Civil Rights Division, particularly in light of the report that exposed politics-related abuses in the Bush Justice Department. The findings, based on a joint investigation by the department's Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, were made public in January.

"There is an increased sensitivity to wanting to have a Civil Rights Division that is active but not politically influenced," said Rebecca Lonergan, a former assistant U.S. attorney and Justice Department insider who is now an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law. "I do not believe that they would be dumb enough to open this investigation as a political decision. It would be extremely bad timing."

A political target?

Critics of Arpaio and his illegal- immigration-related crime-suppression sweeps and workplace raids are cheering the shift in the political winds.

"Our sense is that finally - finally - there is reception in Washington," said Monica Sandschafer, state director of Arizona ACORN, a chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. "Finally there is an administration that is interested in holding people accountable for the Constitution and the rule of law."

But Arpaio suggests he is a political target of Democrats, saying that by vilifying him as a racial profiler, they are trying to achieve a larger goal of scrapping or radically altering the 287(g) program. The program was created under Clinton but wasn't promoted until after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, during the Bush administration.

The Democratic Obama administration, Arpaio said, gives new clout to the sheriff's political foes such as Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, who nearly a year ago asked for a federal probe of the sheriff, and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Obama's Homeland Security secretary is Janet Napolitano, who, even if not directly involved, can provide the Justice Department with valuable institutional knowledge about Arpaio based on her experience working with him in Arizona in her previous roles as U.S. attorney, state attorney general and governor.

It's understandable that the Justice Department is feeling pressure from the various politicians clamoring for action, Arpaio said.

"Everyone who is making an issue is a Democrat," Arpaio said. "The big problem is the 287(g). I'm the most active (participant), the largest with 160 officers, and they're using me as a poster boy.

"They're using me as a catalyst to make an issue of this, hoping that they can get something on me and my deputies on racial profiling so they can say, 'See what happens under 287(g).' "

Arpaio also is drawing criticism from the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee, where partisanship often flares. But here, too, observers say Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., the panel's chairman, is motivated by a long-term commitment to civil rights. Conyers, like Holder, is Black.

"I don't think you can discount the importance of race here. Conyers is an old civil-rights veteran," said Rodolfo Espino, an assistant political science professor at Arizona State University. "You have two African-Americans looking at this who are very cognizant of civil rights and what African-Americans went through."

Hearing in April

Sandschafer and Alicia Navejar, another Arizona ACORN leader and Arpaio critic, were in Washington on Wednesday as Conyers announced that he will hold a hearing on Arpaio in April. The development came the day after the Justice Department probe was revealed. Conyers previously had urged Holder and Napolitano to investigate Arpaio.

Navejar was energized after speaking at the Conyers news conference, saying she hopes Arpaio is "taken to justice."

"I was just so excited to be part of something that is going to make a difference to not only just one person or two people but to thousands of lives," said Navejar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Phoenix. "I can see what it has done (to Latino families)."

Yet Arpaio's immigration crackdowns are wildly popular, and he was re-elected in November by a wide margin.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., a Judiciary Committee member, worries that hearings will exploit racial fears for partisan political gain.

"I think they would like to try to paint all Republicans as racist and motivated by things like racial profiling," Franks said. "I have not seen one iota of evidence that the sheriff has done anything but enforce the law on the basis that he is trying to protect the people within the county he serves."

Franks echoed Arpaio's suggestion that the 287(g) program is a target. "A big goal of the liberal Democrats in Congress is to try to do away with any effective cooperation to enforce federal immigration laws," he said.

Equity Court Services of Arizo
Equity Court Services of Arizo

Mr. Lacey, don't blame me for this. I'm just copying and pasting what they sent me. Sincerely, Big "O."

Let it rip:

"Lacey, are you still fuming over your rightful arrest and five minute detention after you threatened Sheriff Arpaio's life by publishing his home address on your front page?

Your "cause" has lousy lawyers, too. The Melendres v. Arpaio "racial-profiling" case only protects brown-skinned LATINOS under certain limited circumstances in Phoenix. We really would like to see the Sanchezes get protection IF there really is any profiling, but your racist Mexican-centric abogados/abogadas are too stupid to argue a valid case.

We can see right through you, old man. A little broke suck-ass who's in the pockets of the cartels, human smugglers, and Carlos Slim.

Pathetic, Lace Man."

Man, these people really are after Mr. Lacey. I never had any real issues with what he writes, despite some political/legal disagreements.

John "Johnny On The Spot" O'Sullivan, "The Eerie Irishman," for "The Global Equity"

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

Thanks for 15 years of courageous reporting on Arpaio's abuses. Never in 15 years has there been this much organized resistance against this gangster. One can say with absolute certainty that the flames of resistance have only begun to burn. Those of us that actively resist and oppose Arpaio will not stop with the DOJ's slapping of his wrist or the removal of 287(g). This isn't over until its over and it's just begun.

Rufino
Rufino

Arpaio right now is only the ARM. But don't forget that a state senator and the neo-nazis groups are the BRAIN.

Hector
Hector

Arpaio is a pussy who breaks women's arms and only picks fights in backward states like Arizona. I find it annoying that all these browns are scared of this pussy. I am brown and I am not scared at all of that linguini eating, garlic bread breath having, idiot. I mean this guy's family immigrated from the country that is mostly all criminals who spend their days beating on women, eating noodles, and figuring out ways to scam people. So who is he to get all angry at hispanics who actually work hard in this country rather than just eating spaghetti and beating people with bats. Hopefully Obama will get rid of Arpigio. I am sick of Eurotrash immigrants from the ghettos of Europe coming to America, having kids, and then having them grow up thinking that they're better than the new immigrants.

Corby Ziesman
Corby Ziesman

This article is required reading for any Phoenix resident.

Great article, it puts a face on Arapaio's crimes against basic human decency.

Coz
Coz

Mike,

You need to send every story that's appeared in the new Times about Bozo Joe Arpaio to the Department of Justice.

Let them do some reading and catching up...Let's help them put Bozo Joe and his Goons in jail where they belong.

I did forward them this story :-)

Bruce
Bruce

What goes around comes around, and Joe will pay sooner or later.. The investigation thats going on now about him, is step #1....

Coz
Coz

I wish Fucking Bozo Joe Arpaio would just DIE.The world would be a far better place without Nazi's like him in it.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Nice article, and timely, too. It makes the issue clear, and difficult to ignore.

 

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