Photo: AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio
America’s self-titled “Toughest Sheriff” calls its immigration enforcement an Arizona federal judge calls its racial profiling and a violation of Latino’s civil rights.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was found guilty of racially profiling Latino drivers in Arizona all in an effort to crack down on illegal immigration.
The court concluded Arpaio was stopping Hispanics solely because of suspected immigration violations and not for any other law infractions. The court also noted that Latinos that were stopped and detained on suspected immigration charges were being held longer in jail than others allegedly while their immigration status was being checked.
Racially profiling Latinos and pulling them over strictly to check their immigration status is a violation of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The judge noted that Arpaio and his 800 deputies used how “Latino” someone looked as the main reason for suspecting they were in the country illegally.
The Friday ruling concluded a case that started back in 2007 when a car passenger was detained for nine hours on possible immigration violations though it was determined later he was a Mexican tourist. The case plaintiffs grew as more Latinos came forward to disclose they to were stopped without cause by Arpaio’s deputies. The civil rights case was backed by the Mexican Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the American Civil Liberties Union.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow has ordered that Arpaio stop racially profiling Latinos immediately. The ruling prohibits the Maricopa County Sherrif’s office from using “race or Latino ancestry” as a reason to making law enforcement actions.
Arpaio has said he will appeal the ruling and vows to continue serving his sixth consecutive terms as Sheriff.
The Department of Justice that has investigated Arpaio on numerous occasions for alleged violations of Latinos civil rights has an open investigation on similar charges to those ruled on by Judge Snow.