Joe Arpaio Uses Death of Illegal Immigrant to Push for Tent Cities Along U.S./Mexico Border

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a message for the federal government: build tent cities along the U.S./Mexico border to house captured illegal immigrants rather than deport them.

Joe's suggestion comes after sheriff's deputies pulled the bodies of three illegal immigrants from an irrigation canal in the west Valley last month. One of those immigrants, the Sheriff's Office says, was a man who previously had been caught by authorities and deported back to Mexico.

According to Arpaio, a border fence simply won't do the trick.

"This tragedy underscores the extent to which many of these illegal aliens go to evade capture," America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" says in an e-mail. "If they are willing to elude capture by jumping into freezing, fast-moving water, then certainly a fence isn't likely to stop them from entering our country."

Neither will tents, Joe. Yet, that's the solution to the immigration problem the sheriff is using the death of the immigrants to pimp.

"The United States federal government should consider building tent cities across the border, lock up those who enter illegally rather than simply deport them and be more aggressive in finding and arresting illegals who have managed to make it undetected into the interior of the United States," Arpaio continues.

The bodies were found on December 22, after a sheriff's deputy made a routine traffic stop on U.S. 80. When the car came to a stop, the deputy says, he watched five people jump out and start running from the vehicle.

The five suspected illegal immigrants jumped into the nearby canal in an attempt to evade the deputy. At the time, the MCSO says, the canal's water flow was heavy.

Three of the suspects were pulled from the canal, while deputies were unable to locate the other two.

A week earlier, deputies rescued a minor from the same canal in the same general area.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.