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Controversial sheriff runs for office in Arizona

by Lou Venditti - News Editor
Tue, Feb 6th 2018 05:00 pm
Joe Arpaio has racked up his fair share of scandals in his time as sheriff, but now he has his eyes set on the United States senate. Many are hoping his campaign will tank.
Joe Arpaio has racked up his fair share of scandals in his time as sheriff, but now he has his eyes set on the United States senate. Many are hoping his campaign will tank.

Self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff,” Joe Arpaio, is taking a run at the United States Senate. You may remember Arpaio’s name from last year, when President Donald Trump pardoned the disgraced sheriff, stemming from his criminal contempt of court charge last August. Arpaio has been a strong advocate against illegal immigration, taking it upon himself to curb the issue as a law enforcement officer in Arizona.

Arpaio routinely crossed the line in his 24-year career as an Arizona sheriff, representing Maricopa County. One of Arpaio’s proudest accomplishments came early in his tenure, when in 1993, he constructed a self described “concentration camp” for undocumented immigrants, formally known as Tent City. Tent City was meant to relieve inmate overcrowding, according to Snopes, but was widely known for its cruel and unusual treatments of the people placed there.

Arpaio took great pride in his makeshift concentration camp for immigrants, although he later tried to deny it. In 2008, Arpaio was caught on camera saying “I already have a concentration camp… it’s called Tent City.” Tent City was closed by Arpaio’s predecessor in 2017.

While Tent City might be the most evil thing Arpaio has done, he still has a long laundry list of other accusations. In 2011, Arpaio teamed up with television law man and American actor Steven Seagal for a wild stunt. Arpaio was investigating an alleged cockfighting ring, so the logical course of action was to team up with Seagal and acquire a tank, which the pair then rode onto Jesus Llovera’s property. Seagal drove the tank into Llovera’s home, killing his dog. There was no cockfighting ring to be found in the home, just a case of racial profiling on the side of Arpaio.

Arpaio has long been accused of racially profiling in a hunt to find undocumented immigrants. In 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, accusing them of racially profiling. The judge stopped the anti-immigration practices that Arpaio was using, specifically through racial profiling. Arpaio responded reasonably, initiating an investigation of the judge who tried the case, Judge G. Murray Snow. It was one of many times Arpaio attempted to circumvent the law to do his own bidding.

Arpaio is becoming the next Roy Moore. He has an egregious track record, and has been openly racist, hateful and downright backwards in his running of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The fact that Arpaio can announce his campaign and have people on board with it immediately shows a grave issue in the U.S. political system. People like Arpaio should not be able to run.

Arpaio has routinely gone after immigrants in a state that has one of the highest Hispanic populations in the country. Per the United States Census Bureau, 30.9 percent of the people who responded in 2016 were of Hispanic descent. This doesn’t even account for the amount of undocumented immigrants in the state who may not have responded to the U.S. Census, which would likely make that number even higher than it is. He continues to stand on the wrong side of the aisle in regards to immigration reform.

The question has to be asked, before the election even gets close, why Arpaio deserves to represent the state of Arizona in the United States Senate. Arpaio’s very existence enforces a dangerous status quo that the general population seems willing to want to move away from. Not only this, but with immigration reform as a hot button issue, to have a senator stand so firmly in the way of progress cannot be helpful to the development of positive discourse on the matter. Arpaio being elected would make the conversation take a couple steps backwards, especially with a racist voice such as his own advocating for pseudoconcentration camps.



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