(In)Justice Department Sues Sheriff Joe Arpaio

by Hesperado on September 4, 2010

in Arizona, Barack Hussein Obama, immigration, U.S. law

Originally published on 2.0: The Blogmocracy

Photo of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Just. Plain. Wrong.

I would be the first to admit that, both now and in the past, I’ve had mixed feelings about Joe Arpaio, the high-profile sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Be that as it may, this lawsuit is just plain wrong. It is a federal government attack, not only on the sheriff himself, but also on the state and people of Arizona.

F wrote:

FNC just had breaking news that the Justice Department is suing AZ Sheriff Arpaio in a civil rights case.

Fox News: Justice Dept. Sues Arizona Sheriff in Civil Rights Probe

Published September 02, 2010 | Associated Press

The U.S. Justice Department sued Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Thursday, saying the Arizona lawman refused for more than a year to turn over records in an investigation into allegations his department discriminates against Hispanics.

The lawsuit calls Arpaio and his office’s defiance “unprecedented,” and said the federal government has been trying since March 2009 to get officials to comply with its probe of alleged discrimination, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and having English-only policies in his jails that discriminate against people with limited English skills.

Arpaio had been given until Aug. 17 to hand over documents it first asked for 15 months ago.

Arpaio’s attorney, Robert Driscoll, declined immediate comment on the lawsuit, saying he had just received it and hadn’t yet conferred with his client.

Arpaio’s office had said it has fully cooperated in the jail inquiry but won’t hand over additional documents into the examination of the alleged unconstitutional searches because federal authorities haven’t said exactly what they were investigating.

It’s the latest action against Arizona by the federal government, which earlier sued the state to stop its strict new immigration law that requires police officers to question people about their immigration status.

“The actions of the sheriff’s office are unprecedented,” said Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the department’s civil rights division. “It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities.”

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix and names Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the county.

Arizona’s new law — most of which a federal judge has put on hold — mirrors many of the policies Arpaio has put into place in the greater Phoenix area, where he set up a hot line for the public to report immigration violations, conducts crime and immigration sweeps in heavily Latino neighborhoods and frequently raids workplaces for people in the U.S. illegally.

Arpaio believes the inquiry is focused on his immigration sweeps, patrols where deputies flood an area of a city — in some cases heavily Latino areas — to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders.

The sheriff’s office has said half of the 1,032 people arrested in the sweeps have been illegal immigrants.

Last year, the federal government stripped Arpaio of his special power to enforce federal immigration law. The sheriff continued his sweeps through the enforcement of state immigration laws.

In a separate investigation, a federal grand jury in Phoenix is examining allegations that Arpaio has abused his powers with actions such as intimidating county workers by showing up at their homes at nights and on weekends.

Read it all.

But wait, there’s more…

Obama Justice Dept. Files Another Lawsuit Against Arizona Authorities

August, 31, 2010 — nicedeb

…This time, the lawsuit is against Phoenix area Maricopa Community Colleges for (if you can believe this) requiring noncitizens to provide their green cards before they could be hired for jobs.

No I’m not making this up.

This is from The Washington Post, okay?

The Justice Department filed another lawsuit against immigration practices by Arizona authorities, saying Monday that a network of community colleges acted illegally in requiring noncitizens to provide their green cards before they could be hired for jobs.

The suit against the Phoenix area Maricopa Community Colleges was filed less than two months after the Justice Department sued Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer (R) over the state’s new immigration law. It also comes as the department is investigating Joe Arpaio, the sheriff in Maricopa County, who is known for tough immigration enforcement.

In Monday’s lawsuit, Justice officials said the colleges discriminated against nearly 250 noncitizen job applicants by mandating that they fill out more documents than required by law to prove their eligibility to work. That violated the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, the department said.

The law’s anti-discrimination provision “makes it unlawful to treat authorized workers differently during the hiring process based on their citizenship status,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

He said the government “is acting now to remedy this pattern or practice of discrimination.”


The government is asking a judge within the Justice Department unit to order the Maricopa colleges to pay a civil penalty of $1,100 for each of the 247 non-U.S.-citizen job applicants it says were required to produce the additional documents. It says the colleges ended the practice in January.

As Doug Ross notes, this lawsuit will intimidate employers into more permissive hiring practices:

A quarter of a million dollar fine will definitely have employers thinking twice about checking job candidates’ bonafides. And that is the intent.

And it’s but one step among many.

Keep reading. Among other things, the Justice Dept is investigating Joe Arpaio for enforcing immigration laws.

Up is down, black is white, night is day…I’m not sure how much more of this the country can take….

Read it all.

And more…

As nicedeb also reminds us:

And, of course, they’re suing the State of AZ for enforcing immigration laws with SB1070.

Last week, the Obama State Dept handed in its first ever report to the UN Human rights council, and besides being sickeningly self-congratulatory about it’s own wonderful accomplishments in the area of human rights, it singled out the State of AZ’s new immigration law as a human rights deficiency “that is being addressed in a court action.”

In response, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer rightly blasted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration for succumbing to “internationalism run amok.”

An AZ Sheriff recently opined, “Our own government has become our enemy”.

It sure looks that way.

Read the rest.

Also see:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Always On Watch September 5, 2010 at 6:16 am

The federal government is “at war” (litigation war) with Arizona.

Does the rest of America care? Not much. Some of us in other states do. But overall most Americans just don’t give a d***. America is not united much these days.

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