Arpaio's Anti-Illegal-Immigrant Squads Arrest 93 in Past Two Weeks

Arpaio Twitter Watch:





What Arpaio is referring to here is the fact that his anti-illegal-immigrant forces have arrested 93 Mexicans and other Latinos in the past two weeks. Okay, we confess we don't know for sure that they were all Mexicans and Latinos, but how many non-Latino illegal immigrants has the sheriff busted? None that we know of.

On the other hand, the Arizona Department of Public Safety also makes busts similar to the one that netted 32 illegals on the night of August 10. Deputies spotted a "load vehicle" crammed with 17 undocumented immigrants, and someone in the vehicle apparently spilled he beans about a drophouse, where 19 other immigrants were found.

Say what you will, but law officers can scarcely ignore this kind of mass smuggling operation on our roads and in our neighborhoods. When vehicles are overloaded and houses are being used to stash human beings like cattle, that's a safety issue for both the immigrants and local residents.

We'd even go as far to say that exposing drophouses, in which would-be migrants are sometimes held against their will and subjected to violence, is one of the few appropriate actions Arpaio's office takes against the problem of illegal immigration.

Now, whether the county is wisely using resources to prosecute these same people for smuggling themselves, which keeps them in jail for about 90 days at a cost of about $75 a day -- it's easy to be critical of that kind of waste.

Then there are the legitimate criticisms of the anti-immigrant sweeps, the torn-up apart families who have lived and worked here for years, and the bigotry-tinged bluster by a politician pandering to the right wing.

You know -- the things that overshadow the actual good the deputies do.

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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.