Arpaio Rebukes DOJ, Will Train 881 Deputies For Immigration Arrests

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When Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio tweeted yesterday that he would announce a change in his department’s enforcement of immigration laws, I knew we were in for a ride.

Fresh off a federal court victory that vindicated Arpaio’s decision to force a mentally ill inmate, Eric Vogel, to wear pink underwear under his striped jail uniform, Arpaio’s office announced that the Sheriff, who became a hero of the right for cracking down on illegal immigration in Hispanic neighborhoods, will train all 881 Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies to make immigration arrests.

This is a sharp rebuke to the federal government, which stripped 100 of Arpaio’s deputies of the right to make immigration arrests in the field last October. At the time, Arpaio vowed to continue his policies regardless of the Justice Department’s instructions. Yesterday’s announcement shows that Arpaio still means business.

Arpaio supporters claim that his tactics preserve states’ rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. But critics say that this is merely an excuse for the Sheriff to implement an anti-immigration agenda that is fueled by racial profiling. “Sheriff Arpaio is a demagogue, and his use of immigration as a pretext to gain notoriety is old news, ” said Chris Newman of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

“Good for Joe Arpaio!” says former Sheriff Richard Mack, who now runs the No Sheriff Left Behind campaign urging local Sheriffs to disobey unjust federal orders. “The Sheriffs of this country have an obligation to uphold the law and protect the citizens from illegal immigration. And when the feds don’t do their job, it leaves it to us to clean up the situation.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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