Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio Cozies Up to Latino Pastors, Prensa Hispana, and Michael Nowakowski Days Before Employer Raid (w/Update)

Days prior to his agency's immigration raid on a Tempe clothing company, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was meeting with scores of Latino pastors in a get-together brokered by Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski.

See also: -Bill Montgomery Is No Immigration Moderate -Prensa Hispana Blows MCSO Deputy Chief Paul Chagolla in Print

Arpaio himself first revealed this PR coup via Twitter on Monday, the same day as the meeting. On Thursday, local Spanish-language tabloid Prensa Hispana ran a photo large of the sheriff and the pastors with the headline "Oran por un Cambio," or "Praying for a Change," along with an "exclusiva" report on the summit.

Then, Friday, MCSO deputies raided Sportex Apparel, arresting 27 employees, 23 of them on suspicion of identity theft, meaning that likely those 23 are Hispanic, perhaps some members of these pastors' congregations.

Reached Friday evening via phone, Councilman Nowakowski was unaware of the raid, the 71st in Arpaio's long line of immigrant-hunting operations.

He explained that his smiling face can be seen in the photo because he was asked by the pastors to arrange the kaffeeklatsch in time for the group's regular monthly meeting on the 12th floor of Phoenix City Hall.

"[Arpaio] did mention there was going to be a raid this week," Nowakowski related, "but that it wasn't going to be in the city of Phoenix."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons