04/30/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Viewers Riled up Over NOW on PBS Show on Illegal Immigration

"No one could ask for a better performance from a sheriff in a state that has to apprehend the lawbreakers, catch illegal aliens, and jail those that are caught according to the judge's sentencing."

-- Sean T.

"He allowed response times to erode, major violent crimes to go un-investigated, and left areas underprotected while he deploys officers on his pet crusades. He may be popular, but as a law enforcement officer and a public servant he is a disgrace."

-- Bill in Arizona.


This week's special NOW on PBS investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a hard-line sheriff from Maricopa County, Arizona, received an unprecedented avalanche of responses from NOW viewers.

Sheriff Arpaio has made the most of federally-granted authority to enforce immigration laws, but has he crossed the line when it comes to serving and protecting his community? Some critics have accused him of racial profiling and neglecting other criminal activity under his watch.

See for yourself what Sheriff Arpaio was and wasn't doing in the name of law enforcement. Then, stay for the contentious interview -- between Arpaio and NOW on PBS Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa -- that has so many people talking. You can read many of those comments just below the video.

An excerpt of Maria's interview with Sheriff Arpaio:

Watch the full show and interview online and take part in an interactive debate on illegal immigration.