In a blistering editorial published today, The New York Times blasts Sheriff Joe's misuse of his 287g agreement with ICE, and demands Congress hold hearings on the agreements, which are currently under investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress. (That tidbit about the GAO is one I broke in last week's Bird column. See "287g-Men.")
Titled "Immigration, Outsourced," the opinion piece points out for a national audience what we already know here in Sand Land, that Nickel Bag Joe is exploiting the 287g agreement, which empowers 160 of his deputies to enforce federal immigration law under specific circumstances. The Times notes our crusty top cop is abusing his federal authority for "squalid," self-serving reasons:
"Because [Sheriff Joe] sends out press releases beforehand, the sweeps are accompanied by TV crews and protesters — deport-’em-all hard-liners facing off against immigrant advocates. Being Arizona, many of those shouting and jeering are also packing guns. Sheriff Joe, seemingly addicted to the buzz, has been filmed marching down the street shaking hands with adoring Minutemen.
"If this doesn’t look to you like a carefully regulated, federally supervised effort to catch dangerous criminals, that’s because it isn’t. It is a series of stunts focused mostly on day laborers, as Sheriff Joe bulldozes his way toward re-election.
"The sheriff says he is keeping the peace, but it seems as if he is doing just the opposite — a useless, reckless churning of fear and unrest. Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix has denounced him, saying the raids are interfering with undercover city police officers and federal agents. The mayor of Guadalupe implored him 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. They say he has grossly violated the terms of his 287(g) agreement — which calls for federal oversight of local police — and have called on Washington to rein him in."
In the face of the Gray Lady's plaints, Sheriff Joe sounds like the tin-pot dictator of his own backwardsass country, soon to be labeled the Republic of Sun City. They even did a flick about it last year: No Country for Young Men.
“Do you think I’m going to report to the federal government?” Joe told the Times. “I don’t report to them. If they don’t like the contract, they can close it up. That’s all.”
Joe then added, “By the way, we do have a 3,000-person posse — and about 500 have guns. They have their own airplanes, jeeps, motorcycles, everything. They can only operate under the sheriff. I swear ’em in. I can put up 30 airplanes tomorrow if I wanted.”
If you're envisioning a squadron of Sopwith Camels manned by gum-chomping alter kockers, you're not alone, Buckwheat.
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The piece ends by dryly chastising recent statements by the new ICE honcho in town Matthew Allen, and his underling Jim Pendergraph, supporting Joe. Then it delivers this whammy one-liner:
"It’s past time for Congress to hold hearings on these agreements, starting with a subpoena for Sheriff Joe."
Hell, yeah, brother. Preach it. Joe is way outta line and the feds need to slam on the breaks before the idiot finally inspires the race riot that he seems to crave.
You can read the entire New York Times editorial, here. They may make you sign in for it, but it's worth it.