Joe Arpaio Blames Feds for MCSO's Racial Profiling, and Why He's Full of It
Can someone check Joe for vitals? The MCSO's beginning to resemble a re-make of Weekend at Bernie's.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio recently crawled out from under his rock in Fountain Hills where he's been licking his wounds since his February slip and fall to do a YouTube video, in which he responds to U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow's ruling, enjoining the MCSO to stop its racial-profiling ways.
The video gives Arpaio a chance to show off his graveyard tan and his emaciated wrists. If his lips weren't moving, I'd swear he'd been embalmed already.
Plus, you're telling me Arpaio would rather do a YouTube video in his office than a full on press conference? More evidence of how fragile the old coot is these days.
Anyway, in the video, Arpaio cops the same line that his lawyer Tim Casey did on Friday when Judge Snow's ruling dropped.
That is, he blamed it all on the training his deputies received from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement once the MCSO entered into a so-called 287g agreement with ICE, allowing some MCSO detention officers and deputies to act as immigration cops.
"Now the federal court has ruled that the federal training was unconstitutional and it led to racial profiling," says Arpaio, who also indicates that his office will be appealing Snow's decision.
Arpaio partially is correct, in that Judge Snow found that,
"In the 287(g) training that ICE provided, and in other policies and procedures promulgated by the MCSO [italics added], MCSO deputies were instructed that they could consider race or `Mexican ancestry' as one factor among others in making law enforcement decisions during immigration enforcement operations without violating the legal requirements pertaining to racial bias in policing."
As I mentioned in my column this week, Snow explains that this belief is actually a misinterpretation of a U.S. Supreme Court case.
"ICE failed to take into account," Snow writes, "that its interpretation ...was rejected by the en banc Ninth Circuit 13 years ago...the Ninth Circuit held, at a minimum, that in locations where a significant portion of the legal resident population is of Hispanic ancestry, Hispanic descent was not a permissible factor to consider, either alone or in conjunction with other factors, in forming reasonable suspicion justifying the detention of a suspect based on his or her suspected unauthorized presence."
And since around one-third of Arizona's population is Latino, and the vast majority of that Latino population is legally present -- anywhere from 73 to 81 percent, depending on the estimate you accept -- then "Hispanic ancestry" is not a permissible factor for law enforcement to use in developing reasonable suspicion concerning immigration status.
ICE, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DHS secretary and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, and the administration of President George W. Bush all bear some responsibility for the wide-scale racial profiling that occurred under ICE's 287g grant of immigration authority to the MCSO.
But you don't hear Arpaio or his backers arguing that the MCSO should never have been allowed to have 287g authority, or that the 287g program was itself fatally flawed.
Moreover, in his video, Arpaio fails to mention that ICE revoked MCSO's 287g field authority in 2009. After this, Arpaio very publicly thumbed his nose at the feds and the Obama administration, asserting that under federal law, he retained the power to enforce immigration law, despite ICE's rescinding its 287g agreement with the MCSO.