The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has announced plans to "greet" legal migrant workers from Central America who have gotten seasonal work in rural parts of the county.
Yes, the same Maricopa County Sheriff's Office that was ordered to stop racially profiling Latinos, as a result of the Melendres v. Arpaio civil-rights case.
"Buses filled with migrants from Guatemala and other Central American countries will be rolling into a small town in Maricopa County, but they will not be met with protestors," an MCSO press release says. "Instead, they will be greeted by deputies in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office."
It certainly seems bizarre that Arpaio, who prides himself on being an immigration tough-guy, would issue a press release to tout that his deputies will supposedly be "greeting" migrant workers.
MCSO says the purpose of the visits is to teach the migrants about reporting crimes. The press release goes on to say:
Deputies are expected to be visiting nearly 300 workers throughout the day as they arrive for the summer growing season in the vicinity of the town [of Aguila's] largest employer, Martori Farms. Flyers with contact information and emergency phone numbers will be distributed in both English and Spanish.
"We want these workers to know we are interested in their safety while they are in the county," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio. "We will encourage them to let us know of any crimes, or, if they are victims of crime."
Sheriff Arpaio wants to make it clear that his deputies will not be asking the seasonal workers for ID.
Local immigrant rights activist Lydia Guzman isn't interpreting this as some sort of good deed from MCSO.
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"This is nothing more than his attempt to show Judge Snow that he's making an effort, but I look at it as an intimidation tactic," she tells New Times, referring to the federal judge presiding over the Melendres v. Arpaio case.
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