Joe Arpaio Victim Katherine Figueroa: Her Parents Face Deportation July 17
Can we just boot Joe from the country, and keep Katherine and her family? (See video, page 2)
When the deputies of serial racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio raided Phoenix's Lindstrom Family Auto Wash in 2009, on the hunt for undocumented car-cleaners, they did so with the full authority of the federal government.
It was June of that year, and Arpaio still had his force of 160 officers trained (badly, it turns out) by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under ICE's 287(g) program.
A few months later, ICE jerked Joe's 287(g) street authority, but Arpaio being Arpaio, he continued his immigration sweeps and worksite raids, vowing that nothing would change.
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ICE had empowered a media-obsessed egomaniac, and that Frankenstein monster would not bow so easily, even when the U.S. Department of Justice denounced the MCSO's biased policing and sued the sheriff to make the point.
Only federal Judge G. Murray Snow's recent ruling in Melendres that Arpaio's office engages in racial profiling, and his order that the MCSO must stop, has boxed in Arpaio, for the moment.
Joe could start up the worksite operations tomorrow, as these nominally enforce state law.
At least, that's the sham excuse that would allow the MCSO to continue hunting Hispanics, despite Joe's lawyer telling the court that, "The MCSO is out of the federal immigration enforcement business."
But the federal government created this situation, and it must act to ameliorate the deleterious effects of its policies on the human beings, the moms and dads, the sons and daughters, the grandmothers and grandfathers, who are separated from their families for no good reason.
The human rights group Puente is not waiting for an immigration-reform bill that seems unlikely to make it through the U.S. House of Representatives, one that, in any case, seems increasingly punitive with every twist and turn.
Nor are its members holding their breaths for President Obama to do what he should do: halt all deportations until immigration reform is on his desk, ready to be signed.
Rather, Puente is fighting a family-by-family battle to prevent the deportations of those victimized by Arpaio's raids and sweeps, and those who have fallen prey to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's apartheid policy of overcharging the undocumented, with forgeries that make it less likely they will be able to avoid removal.