Arpaio Vows Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Won't Stop His Immigrant Sweeps

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told the Business Journal this afternoon that Barack Obama won't stop him from targeting illegal immigrants.

Arpaio vowed to continue his sweeps and raids against illegal immigrants, despite expected pressure by Obama and his pick for U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder. And, he says, another sweep will be coming soon.

Of course, it's easy to say this now, before the new president gets in office, and before Janet Napolitano -- who took budget money from Arpaio after prior roundups of Mexicans -- becomes secretary of Homeland Security. 


Arpaio can't seem to understand why people believe his "crime sweeps" utilize racial profiling. Yet we think he'll be shown the error of his ways by the new administration, despite today's bluster.

Other law enforcement agencies are arresting and deporting truckloads of illegal immigrants without the same sort of public backlash received by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. And it's well known that the Sheriff's Office doesn't work well with other agencies on immigration-related matters.

It seems likely that once Obama and Holder force change on the sheriff's office, the public will benefit by a more cooperative, more efficient and less discriminatory type of immigration enforcement. -- Ray Stern

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.