Last Night Sheriff Joe Arpaio finally got what he's been asking for: an investigation by the Department of Justice.
Community leaders across the country are cheering. We think it's about time! His segregated march through Phoenix was the last straw after a history of extreme abuse:
With over 2,700 lawsuits against him, a history of virulently anti-immigrant and anti-Latino tactics, and 40,000 felony warrants outstanding in his jurisdiction, Arpaio has fostered a climate in which real criminals roam free while hard-working immigrants live in fear. America's Voice is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to begin a federal investigation into his tactics, giving Sheriff Arpaio the attention he really deserves.
Today Representative Conyers and other members of the House Judiciary Committee join civil rights leaders to endorse a major petition delivery, listen to testimonies about Arpaio's reign of terror in Arizona, and call for an end to the Sheriff's questionable tactics. Over 35,000 petition signatures have been collected by a diverse array of civil and immigrant rights, progressive faith, and social justice organizations, alongside my organization, America's Voice. This far surpassed our goal of 10,000 signatures in time for today's delivery.
We are happy to report that Sheriff Arpaio is finally starting to get what he has coming to him and look forward to working to make sure that Arpaio's 287g agreement (which turns local cops into federal immigration officials) is revoked. Just last week a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report outlined the worst problems that have sprouted up under the 287g program.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
The GAO report comes as scrutiny of the 287g program has intensified.
Last week, Justice Strategies, a nonprofit research group, said in its own report about the program that enforcing immigration has distracted local police from their mission of tackling crime and keeping communities safe. The report also said that the ICE program placed a financial burden on states and localities that participate.
Comprehensive immigration reform, which Congress has failed to pass, should be the goal of the Obama administration, according to the report. The 287g program "amounts to a local and state bailout of the failed federal immigration enforcement business," the report says.
We'll have more from today's event on Capitol Hill soon at America's Voice Online.
Follow Frank Sharry on Twitter: www.twitter.com/franksharry