Photo: Arizona's Maricopa County Elects Sheriff Arpaio to 6th Consecutive Term
The immigrant community in the Phoenix area is preparing to live another four years with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who over the past few years has intensified his fight against undocumented migrants.
Arpaio, 80, was reelected Tuesday to a sixth consecutive term with 53 percent of the votes.
The controversial Republican sheriff received another mandate despite several pending federal lawsuits accusing his office of engaging in racial profiling against Hispanics.
“Unfortunately, we still have part of (state immigration law) SB 1070 in force in Arizona, which is the ‘show me your papers’ provision, and now we’re going to continue having Sheriff Arpaio,” Petra Falcon, the director of the Promise Arizona group, told Efe on Wednesday.
“Show me your papers,” which entered into force in September, requires state and local law enforcement officers to verify the immigration status of anyone encountered in the course of their duties who they suspect of being in the country illegally.
Arpaio regularly has his deputies carry out workplace raids seeking undocumented workers.
“It’s worrying that Arpaio has been newly reelected. The harassment against our community will continue,” Martha Ramirez, a Phoenix resident and mother of three, told Efe.
She said many Latinos came out to the polls on Tuesday with the aim of unseating Arpaio.
In a defiant tone, Arpaio announced Tuesday that he will seek reelection once again in 2016 and he emphasized that he will continue enforcing state laws against undocumented immigration.
Falcon called the response of the Hispanic community to the 2012 election massive and one sign of that were the lines at some polling places, some of them up to four hours long.
“Our people are transforming themselves. They are learning the value that their votes can have in an election and I think that that was the biggest gain from these elections,” she said.