Are Joe Arpaio's Alleged Discriminations Against Spanish Speakers Civil-Rights Violations?

Categories: Morning Poll
the-feds.jpg
Yesterday, we told you about the response from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's lawyers to the Justice Department's lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.

Points made by Arpaio's laywers in an attempt to throw out a couple of the claims in the lawsuit contend discrimination against people who speak a certain language doesn't equate to civil-rights violations.

"Plaintiff cannot maintain these claims because Title VI [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964] does not prohibit disparate treatment based on language proficiency," Arpaio's lawyers from the Phoenix-based Jones, Skelton & Hochuli law firm wrote.

Those attorneys note what the exact language of the Civil Rights Act says from the section in question: "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

The lawsuit
adds, though, that the discrimination was against the "limited English proficient" Latinos, but on the basis of "race, color, or national origin" -- not because they didn't speak English well.

The Justice Department alleges 21 instances in which the MCSO's handling of the language barrier violates laws, not just from the Civil Rights Act.

One of those instances included MCSO detention officers' pressuring Latino, limited-English- proficient inmates to sign "voluntary return" forms without the inmates understanding what they said.

"Once signed, these forms oblige foreign nationals to give up any right to have an immigration hearing, challenge their removal from the United States, speak with an attorney, or otherwise seek a determination permitting them to stay in the United States," the lawsuit states. "Latino LEP prisoners have been compelled by MCSO detention officers to sign this form even when they have pending proceedings that may authorize their continued stay in the United States."

This morning's question: Does the discrimination against Spanish speakers sound like civil rights violations to you?

Cast your vote below:


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10 comments
Truconserv
Truconserv

It's not as horrible a legal argument as it sounds. True, from a human perspective, it sucks. But we're talking law ... When dealing with Civil Rights legislation your first two steps are to determine (1) what is covered and (2) what is the standard for review/ proof. Getting a couple of counts tossed, even if not dispositive, helps the Sheriff because it helps water-down the totality of the case as it is presented to the trier of fact (normally a jury.) Specifically, if the defense can keep the jury from hearing about how his deputies abused inmates of limited English skill that will go a long way to maintaining the fiction that Joe and his team are just human being trying to do an honest job under tough circumstances. It's a hail mary, but one that I would expect any competent attorney to make.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I didn't go to lawschool, and EVEN I know this. WAKE up dumb ass Arizonans!

Dnichols
Dnichols

Joe is not a racist, he just thinks Brown People are Dirty. He had one Immigrant Woman chained to jail yard post in the Arizona summer heat for over thirteen hours with no shade, or water until she would finally Die for his Brave shifts of Jailers that watched. Its alright she was illegal, and had no Family here to sue the Bastard Sheriff. Arpaio's latest was his Goon Squad once again Tasing a man to Death, this time an Iraq War Veteran, and of course with Brown Skin. Tasing to Death is an accident you know. M.C.S.O. has a long History of these accidents? Joe's a not just a Racist, he is a "Monster". To: True Justice, even in Arizona. Sorry "King" Joe.

Ca
Ca

Dumbest. Comment, Ever.

Joe Astroturf
Joe Astroturf

See where Sheriff Joe should really be. As the President and Russell Pierce as his VP. Check out what Joe would look like seated at the Oval desk.   Song “Arizona we’re proud of you” .    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q81JiD9uZNE     Arizona we’re proud of  you for   protecting  the people under the red white and blue   Calderone treats illegals worse than us and puts our country down any American that agrees with him would have to be a clown   Arizona we’re proud of you   You’ve come to your senses passed 1070 Obama’s  giving back Buenos Aires refuge to Mexico we see It’s a shame  you passed that law  a little late At lease your trying to not have another patriot have Robert Krentz’s fate  

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

How much did that wimpy response cost?

Joe F
Joe F

Joe is playing it smart. He knows damn well that as soon as President Romney is sworn in, this lawsuit disappears, and Eric Holder goes to jail. Meanwhile he will bide his time for 6 months until that happens. This case will never be presented for judgment. What a joke.

Dave
Dave

The Deputies had no idea the drivers had issues peaking English until AFTER stopping them for driving while being brown.

Marco
Marco

New Book Released 6/12/12:   It's called:   “If There Were Any Victims…” An inside look into the El Mirage, Arizona child sex crimes cases mishandled by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Office.   (www.iftherewereanyvictims.com)   Everything in the book is factual and based on his personal experiences as the El Mirage Assistant Police Chief.  But specifically, it’s the story of how they uncovered the now-famous scandal about Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s agency and how they mishandled the sex crime cases and death investigations in El Mirage.  The book reveals behind-the-scenes events that very few people know about.   Until now, no one has revealed the whole truth about the specific crimes Sheriff Arapio’s agency failed to investigate in El Mirage including  Sexual Assault, Child Molesting,  and Sexual Misconduct with a Minor.  For the first time, people have a chance to read the actual police reports from 31 of the child sex crimes that Joe Arapio’s troops screwed up and see just what these child victims went through.   Whether you are a “Sheriff Joe” fan or not, everyone should read this book.  The level of neglect by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s agency in regards to these child sex crimes and death investigations is enough to shock the conscience.   People have a right to know the truth about what happened in El Mirage.  I would appreciate your help in spreading the word about his book.   The printed book & E-Book is now available at www.iftherewereanyvictims.com and http://www.amazon.com/If-There-Were-Any-Victims/dp/098559120X  

Rvhobo1954
Rvhobo1954

Often in the deep ole south of my childhood the Ku Klux Klan could not be convicted of murder, lynchings, violating rights of blacks but the ole "criminal violation of civil rights statutes sent many a xenophobe to prison for life"!

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