AMERICA’S TOUGHEST SHERIFF PART III
This is the last part in a three-part series on the colorful Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, widely known as the toughest Sheriff in America on illegal immigration. He may be and he may not be, as other counties are very active in trying to keep their neighborhoods safe and economically viable from the mess that human trafficking is making.
But Sheriff Joe is the one that the current administration has targeted as a symbol of why administration officials’ agenda of amnesty for illegal immigrants must be shoved through.
Part I presented Sheriff Joe’s point of view as he related it to SOF in May. The focus of part II was a letter sent by Maricopa County’s attorney to the Department of Justice officials, accusing them of violating U.S. legal principles in their investigation. This part presents shocking reports from several experts who have conducted extensive research on the out-of-control illegal immigration problem and the witch hunt against the most vocal and active law enforcement county.
AMNESTY WITH A BIG, BIG PRICE
A program referred to as Section 287(g) allows local law enforcement to train and enforce federal immigration laws. Before the law was enacted, local officers had to wait for ICE to come get the suspect illegal immigrant. Most were released.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) decided this year that 287g enforcement has resulted in racial profiling. The investigation of the high-profile Sheriff Joe Arpaio for abusing 287g by “racial profiling” is meant to pave the way for amnesty, according to the Sheriff.
“They are going after me as the poster child so they can legalize the illegals. If they can criminalize me for social profiling, they can legalize the illegals, with an amnesty,” Arpaio told SOF in May.
Indeed, an amnesty for an estimated 12,000,000 illegal immigrants is in the works, threatening to overload the U.S. economy and infrastructure.
The Senate’s proposed “comprehensive” immigration legislation bill (S.1348) would triple the flow of low-skill chain immigration into the U.S. by granting amnesty to at least 12 million illegal immigrants. The bill would grant illegal immigrants access to Social Security and Medicare benefits and, over time, to more than 60 different federal welfare programs. If amended as anticipated to allow Z-visa holders to bring spouses and children in from abroad, 5 million more predominantly low-skill immigrants would be entering the country.
All of this would cost $2.6 trillion once the amnesty recipients reach retirement age, according to Heritage Foundation research. The mind-boggling well-researched report is at www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/
Backing off on illegal immigration enforcement would allow enclaves of safe havens for greedy smugglers and weapons and drug traffickers, according to many policy experts.
CUT THE POLITICAL SMOKESCREENS; IT’S VIOLENCE
“A 2004 study estimated that 3,000 to 4,000 individuals per day enter the U.S. illegally through Arizona, and approximately $2 billion per year is paid to coyotes to transport undocumented individuals across the Arizona border,” Arizona Attorney General Goddard testified in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control in March 2009.
“An estimated 80 percent of the methamphetamine, 90 percent of cocaine and 2.4 million pounds of marijuana (that is consumed) in the United States is produced in Mexico. Profits from drug sales in the United States generate between $15 billion and $25 billion per year, which is smuggled back into Mexico, either in the form of cash or weapons,” Goddard testified.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Davidson County (TN) Sheriff’s Office, and other law enforcement officials in the United States see the danger of illegal immigration and the related crime and violence.
But the Obama administration phonies up “racial profiling” charges against those law enforcement officials that are busting illegal immigrants, largely of Hispanic origin.
“EYES SHUT AT HOMELAND SECURITY”
It is a “game playing” move, which as a “newly commissioned officer in the Obama ‘politics first’ battalion to whom pleasing Hispanic voters is a top priority,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano falsely denied that drug war violence has hit many cities in the United States very hard.
George H. Wittman, a member of the Committee on the Present Danger and the founding chairman of the National Institute for Public Policy, reacted to remarks the Secretary made on PBS NEWSHOUR in an article appearing in The American Spectator, “Eyes Shut at Homeland Security.”
Wittman cuts to the chase of the “racial profiling” hysteria. “Playing to this fear of ethnic discrimination as a political device was a favored tactic of the Obama electoral campaign and continues today,” he writes.
“Sheriff Arpaio spent 25 years in the DEA before entering local law enforcement. He has brought his knowledge of Mexican criminal activity into play when intervening in local crime. For this, he is repeatedly attacked by various political organizations that charge his ICE-trained deputies with discriminating against men of Hispanic ethnicity. Where else would one look for Mexican drug connections?” Whitman remarks.
A BAD, ALARMING RECORD
Hans A. von Spakovsky, legal scholar at the Heritage Foundation and a former counsel in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, wrote a scathing report detailing the accusations of abuse that Sheriff Joe’s office made.
Spakovsky blasts the Special Litigation Section (SPL) of the Civil Rights Division (CRD) of the Justice Department that is investigating Arpaio for using unethical tactics in their biased investigation.
Arpaio, as the largest participant in the program, is not racial profiling, he wrote, when he saturates high-crime neighborhoods that happen to be largely Hispanic, because they are simply, factually, crime-invested neighborhoods.
Spakovsky accuses the SPL of having “a bad track record enforcing poorly defined and constitutionally questionable legal standards.”
“Two House Judiciary subcommittees that held hearings on Arpaio’s conduct found no actual proof of wrongdoing,” he writes. The federal law that governs the SPL jurisdiction, enacted in 1994 in response to the Rodney King case, was a sloppy law that allows the SPL to abuse law enforcement agencies.
“SPL has almost no standards (and no limits) under which it conducts its investigations. Enforcement is typically left to the vagaries of the biased liberal career attorneys who populate the section. SPL often predicates an investigation on a handful of unconnected and isolated incidents separated by big gaps in time.
The investigators “typically do little more than troll through newspaper articles or contact the local ACLU or NAACP chapter to find complaints,” Spakovsky said, confirming the charges that Sheriff Joe told SOF in his office in Arizona—that DOJ and Homeland Security gather their “evidence” from the media. “In fact, the deputy section chief assigned to the Maricopa County case admitted to Arpaio’s lawyer that media reports, not actual evidence of any violations of the law, provided the only basis for the investigation.
The Department of Homeland Security admitted to the same lawyer that it had no record of any complaints about Maricopa’s conduct in administering the 287(g) program. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was governor of Arizona, she cut off his state funding to pursue illegal immigrants,” Spakovsky writes.
CHANCES OF A FAIR INVESTIGATION ARE NIL
“The chances that SPL will conduct an unbiased review are practically nil. Once SPL opens up an investigation, it almost always finds violations amounting to a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful conduct. One former Division lawyer recalls that early in the Bush administration, a civil-rights inquiry into the Miami–Dade Police Department yielded insufficient evidence to justify continuing a pattern and practice investigation. This outcome was so unusual and unprecedented that the SPL chief at the time, Steven Rosenbaum, refused to sign a letter acknowledging the absence of any constitutional violations. Rosenbaum said it was not DOJ’s obligation to clear up the cloud that had gathered over the jurisdiction because of adverse publicity over the investigation.”
Rosenbaum is supervising SPL’s investigation of Maricopa County. SPL attorneys, untrained in investigatory techniques, almost always credit the complaints of aggrieved citizens without question, Spakovsky said.
Je Yon Jung is the attorney assigned to the Maricopa County investigation. Jung, as an active member and former national governing-board representative of the left-wing National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, wants citizenship for all illegal immigration. She is buttering up the administration in the hopes of being appointed as a DC judge, Spakovsky said.
Maricopa attorney Driscoll, in a letter to the DOJ, accused Jung of using DHS to interview represented parties without any legal representation. She used a Homeland Security audit to surreptitiously obtain information she could not obtain through the SPL investigation, because Section 14141 does not endow DOJ with subpoena power.
Spakovsky details other appalling ethic violations.
A WHOLESALE COLLAPSE OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION IN SPL
SPL almost never has to prove its factual findings in court, and has never had to defend in court its determinations of what constitutes a pattern or practice the Supreme Court established in the context of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ”according to which a pattern or practice must consist of more than sporadic discriminatory acts.” If held to this standard, many (if not most) of SPL’s investigations would be quickly thrown out.
The one time when a police department dared to stand up to the Division (United States v. City of Columbus, Ohio), a federal judge threw out the Division’s claims.
The Civil Rights Division sent lawyers, one a former illegal immigrant, to investigate whether Sheriff Arpaio has engaged in national origin discrimination against illegal aliens, including failing to provide translation services to illegal aliens. The Supreme Court in 2001 in Alexander v. Sandoval, which involved Alabama’s refusal to provide drivers-license tests in languages other than English, rejected the discrimination charges.
“The general attitude that I encountered when working with the career lawyers in the Division mirrors the attitude of radical groups like La Raza and MALDEF, who believe in open borders and no enforcement of our immigration laws,” Spakovsky writes.
Neither Spakovsky nor SOF represent that we have information to conclude whether Sheriff Joe or anyone else is “racial profiling” without further evidence.
Bottom line, “Sheriff Arpaio’s chances of getting a fair and impartial investigation are non existent.”
WHERE IS THE RACIAL PROFILING
Jena Baker McNeill, policy analyst for Homeland Security in a specialty branch at The Heritage Foundation, disproves Homeland Security charges that 287g results in racial profiling. The case she presents is based on a report from the Davidson County (TN) Sheriff’s Office, one of 29 jurisdictions actively participating in 287(g) enforcement.
Her report confirms Sheriff Joe’s statement made to SOF that local officers authorized to enforce federal immigration laws are required to undergo a five-week training course, a background check, and mandatory certifications.
The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office arrested over 5,300 illegal aliens in two years. Since many were involved in crime or had criminal records, the efforts resulted in a 31 percent decline in arrests of “foreign-born” individuals and a 46 percent decline in “illegal aliens committing crimes.”
Davidson County officers took 90 gang leaders off the streets through their 287(g) efforts. McNeill concludes that the Davidson County report and reports from the Frederick County, Maryland sheriff’s office negated the GOA’s accusation of racial profiling.
Sheriff Joe is not the only law enforcement official struggling with the illegal immigration invasion. We asked him if other sheriffs supported him.
“I think most of them would vote for me,” he said.
“Have you had others come to you saying wish we could do what you are doing?” we asked him.
“A few visit me, especially when it’s snowing in Chicago,” Sheriff Joe said.