Feathered Bastard

John Conyers' House Judiciary Committee to Hold 287(g) Hearing April 2

Trying to get info out of Washington, D.C. from here in Sand Land is like attempting to obtain cheese directly from the cow's teat sometimes. Nevertheless, I'm in receipt of scuttlebutt from folks in the immigrant rights community locally, who've been telling me about the joint hearing to be held Thursday, April 2 by Chairman John Conyers' House Judiciary Committee on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's abuse of the 287(g) agreement. My sources indicate that they're being asked to recommend speakers to the committee, and that the hearing is likely to only last for that day, to start, with more possibly coming down the road.

Today, the Judiciary Committee posted some details about the joint hearing , which is titled, "The Public Safety and Civil Rights Implications of State and Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws." It's slated for April 2, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, and will involve two subcommittees, the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, chaired by New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, chaired by California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

The Judiciary Committee's press contact Jonathan Godfrey informed me that the committee doesn't have a witness list to release yet, and he couldn't yet confirm that the hearing was for anything beyond the 287(g) program. But if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck...

I haven't seen Lofgren in action, but judging from what Nadler had to say at a March 11 press conference heralding the Justice Department's decision to investigate Arpaio for civil rights violations, I'd say Arpaio better get ready for some long-distance tongue-lashing.

"We will not sit idly by as Hispanic residents of Maricopa County are routinely singled out, profiled, jailed and deprived of basic human rights," Nadler stated at the event.

"Sheriff Arpaio's malicious and vigilante practices are not immigration enforcement," he continued. "On the contrary, this is abuse of police power and federal law."

I'm looking for Nadler to lay some more verbal punishment on Maricopa County's corrupt top cop next week. So stay tuned.

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