March 13, 2009

Department of Justice to Investigate Sheriff Arpaio

New America Media

The Department of Justice notified Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday that it had opened an investigation into him for “alleged” patterns of discrimination because of national origin, among other things.

The letter was sent on the eve of an event organized Wednesday by a coalition of civil and immigrant rights groups, including America’s Voice, to deliver 35,000 petitions calling for the Department of Justice to investigate the sheriff.

The tactics of the notorious sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., and his use of racial profiling affecting the general population, including citizens and legal residents, have generated more than 35,000 petitions across the country calling for a federal investigation. They are also asking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to end its agreement with the sheriff through the 287(g) program.

Several congressional committees and subcommittees, including the House Judiciary panel, already have asked the Justice Department to review Arpaio’s tactics.

“In the short term, we hope the Department of Justice will investigate the horrendous abuses by Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County, and the DHS will end its 287(g) agreement with the sheriff because it is being used to violate people’s rights,” affirmed Adam Luna, political director of America’s Voice.

“In the long term, we want to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that respects the human rights and basic civil rights of everyone in this country and that prevents someone’s immigration status from being used to take away their basic human and civil rights,” Luna added.

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