Cynical Bill Montgomery Airs PSA to "Comfort" the Undocumented

No one can say Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery lacks chutzpah.

For years now, Montgomery has exploited anti-Latino bigotry to obtain and retain public office.

When he campaigned for attorney general in 2006, Montgomery was one of many politicians who snuggled up to the racist minuteman movement.

In 2010, he ran to the right of then-interim County Attorney Rick Romley in the GOP primary. Montgomery wholeheartedly supported Sand Land's ugly anti-immigration legislation, Senate Bill 1070, and promised a return to the policies of his now-disbarred and disgraced predecessor, Andrew Thomas.

This included reviving Thomas' policy of prosecuting migrants for conspiring with "coyotes" to self-smuggle themselves into the country.

In September, the policy was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge, who said it was superseded by federal law.

Of course, Montgomery's appealing that decision. Never mind that those smuggled into the country often end up victims of the smugglers.

Montgomery's stalwart support for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's anti-immigrant policies paid off in 2010 with an endorsement from Arpaio and the sheriff's spending more than a half-million bucks to defeat Romley in the primary.

And Montgomery has returned the favor in many ways.

After the U.S. Department of Justice issued a letter in 2011 finding that there was a widespread "culture of bias" toward Latinos in the MCSO, Montgomery denounced the DOJ, claiming, incorrectly, that it had not backed up its accusations, which were the result of a three-year investigation.

Since then, the DOJ has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the MCSO. And in a separate lawsuit, Melendres v. Arpaio, a federal judge has found Arpaio's office guilty of biased policing and ordered a monitor as well as numerous other measures aimed at ending the MCSO's racial-profiling ways.

Yet, the county attorney continues to prosecute undocumented workers arrested in Arpaio's worksite raids, holding busboys and middle-aged cleaning ladies without bond on charges of forgery and ID theft while ignoring any culpability by the bigger fish involved: employers.

Granted, there is evidence that Montgomery recently altered this policy by declining to prosecute 14 of the more than 20 people arrested by the MCSO after its August raid of the commercial cleaning company ProServ.

But this is more a result of the fight he's encountered from some local immigration attorneys.

It's important to know that the Monty who speaks Spanish in new County Attorney's Office public-service announcements is the same Monty who mercilessly has jailed and prosecuted the undocumented from day one in office.

The PSAs, which start a yearlong run next month, begin with an insult, delivered by the county attorney in the English version and by someone else in the Spanish version.

"It's easy to stay in the shadows," we are told, "to stay quiet and mind your own business and don't get involved."

Really? If only I could transform Monty into a Mexican migrant, with limited or no English, and see how "easy" being in the shadows is for him.

The PSAs feature images of Hispanic kids hugging and Latino couples smiling. Then we get Monty himself.

"We don't stand for crime," he tells the camera, speaking Spanish in the Spanish-language PSA. "Crime gets reported. When you report crime, your immigration status doesn't matter. That's the law."

During a recent press conference to debut the commercials, he insisted that the law in question was none other than the "papers please" section of SB 1070, the one requiring cops to check the immigration status of anyone they've stopped and suspect of being in the country illegally.

Monty argues that one line of section 2b covers victims and witnesses. It states that cops "shall" determine a suspect's immigration status "except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation."

Thing is, it's up to the cop and/or the agency involved. There is no guarantee in 1070 that victims and witnesses will not be asked about immigration status.

In fact, a person is only "presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present," unless that person presents certain ID, such as an Arizona driver's license.

And I can tell you from reporting on several such cases that if an otherwise law-abiding undocumented person shows a foreign ID to a local cop, he or she risks arrest for presenting a forged document, whether or not the ID is valid.

Why do some police officers assume that a matricula card from the Mexican consulate or a driver's license from a Latin American country is a forgery?

Because they can. Those arrested often cannot afford counsel and end up held non-bondable, coerced into copping a plea and a one-way ticket to the custody of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Additionally, Montgomery has a policy of making it incredibly difficult for victims of crime to obtain certifications for a U visa, which allows them to remain and work in the country legally if they cooperate with law enforcement.

The County Attorney's Office has denied that it has a policy of not certifying U visas, but its own statistics belie this denial.

According to office spokesman Jerry Cobb, between January 2009 and May 2012, it received 83 U visa requests, certified six, and declined 19.

"The rest were either approved by another agency — applicants typically apply to multiple law enforcement agencies — or were not associated with active cases or were pending review," Cobb wrote me in January, when I first asked about the issue.

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19 comments
tomsimpson790
tomsimpson790

Yes he let a minute man founder, pedophile off the hook it seems one has to wonder how low he will got to win offices or keep the one he has now!

DNichols
DNichols

Montgomery said: "We don't stand for crime."

Unless the crime is Chid Molesting, espescially if the Child Molester is one of Montgomery, and Arpaio's Racist Comrades!

Montgomery grants "Amnesty" through "Plea Deals" for his Sick Ass Buddies."

To: Equal Justice for All, in Arizona what a JOKE.

serpico1000
serpico1000

What really bugs me is that Laws and Senate, or Government laws can be overturned, by going to the Supreme Court, and yet members of the State, or Federal government politicians cannot be removed unless they commit a crime as big as homicide, the Recall program is so difficult, by way of the same Culprits, there should be a better or easier way to bump these carpetbaggers out of office, no questions asked without facing a lawsuit or being charged with discrimination or civil rights violation. 

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

NICKEL BAG JOE just reachs 4 d low hanging fruit, but now he wants it ready 2 go, that's why probably he told his lap dog Monty to make that PSA; get them all to tell where they live & bring them over, he'll b waitin' 4 them. LISTEN UNDOCUMENTED 1s, SAYS D LAP DOG, THERE'S ROOM 4 U IN JOKE'S GULAGS.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Loyalty

Duty

Respect

Selfless Service

Honesty

Integrity

Personal Courage

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

Perhaps MontyPug needs to remember what he stands for, especially given he's a war veteran.

Trommy
Trommy

Seriously this man needs to be voted out.  He gives me the creeps and my friends in other states ask me how he got voted in to begin with.  I tell them voters who don't know and don't care to know they just recognized the name from when he lost the Attorney General election.

budsan
budsan

This Bill Montgomery is a typical overzealous prosecutor, that sounds to me doesn't care about guilt or innocent only his convictions record.  The color of one skin has a lot to do about what or if your charged too. Montgomery is KOOK that must be defeated and booted out of office with his buddy Thomas Horne.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

MontyPug should remember what the Army trains all its soldiers.

LDRSHIP and the warrior ethos.

Apparently he's too dim to figure this out and enjoys making people's lives miserable while ignoring the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment as well as the 8th Amendment.

Piss on MontyPug!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Arizona just drips with the stench of BULLSHIT with a it's collection of politicians that are nothing more than hypocrites, some criminally worse than the criminals in jail, and all around in your face corruption while telling the tax payers to FO.

This place is a cesspool for sure.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Mr. Lemons, please don't compare MontyPug to Jim Carrey in "Liar Liar". Jim Carrey is funny. MontyPug is not.

Perhaps it's time I get to work on my own PSA. One that will insure dirty fools like MontyPug are not to be trusted and/or re-elected.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

"When you report a crime, your immigration status doesn't matter." Ha-ha. That's a laugh and a half.

DNichols
DNichols

After offering his Racist Minute Man Pal Chris Simcox whom Montgomery went on moonlight Border Patrols with a "Plea Deal/Amnesty" for Child Molesting Montgomery should resign PERIOD.

Just another Arpaio Butt Weasel.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Cozz, perhaps the voters need to put some new propositions on the ballot.

One that I have is two consecutive terms in office for ALL politicians.

I also want to establish an ethics commission and a set of ethics laws. Massachusetts has this and they've indicted their last three consecutive House Speakers, with at least one getting 10 years in prison.

I'd also like to expand the Voter Protection Act and prevent ALL politicians from meddling with the will of the voters.

Please feel free to add to my list.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Truth, the Governor is the most powerful person in the state.

MontyPug ran for the most powerful office in the County. And won, sadly.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I know that Truthseeker.

I'm pointing out that MontyPug needs to apply the 7 Army core values as well as the warrior ethos to his job as County Attorney for Maricopa County. If he did he wouldn't be pulling this bullshit.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967  

Great ideas for sure.

Problem is, anything proposition wise that has anything to do with ethic's and holding Arizona politicians accountable will be met with fierce opposition.

Arizona, unlike Massachusetts, is a long way off from ever holding their politicians accountable.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Truth,

MontyPug has the authority to SEEK the death penalty. It's up to a jury to impose that sentence.

There are special rules that must be met before a jury will impose a death sentence. The Jodi Arias trial is a perfect example.

 
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