Last night, in the much anticipated (and only) debate between Sharron Angle and Harry Reid, the Republican candidate for Senate had this to say when asked about immigration, reported by the LA Times:
“I think every state should have a sheriff like Joe Arpaio,” she said.
Now this is unsurprising, politically. About a month ago, an opinionated Arpaio stated that he thought current Nevada Senator and Majority Leader, Harry Reid, should be sacked. According to NBC, Arpaio stated that he supports Repbulcian Senate candidate Sharron Angle.
Political endorsements aside, however, it is notable that Angle sees Arpaio as a solution to Nevada — and our nation’s — immigration crisis. Arpaio became infamous not only for marching immigrants in shackles through the streets of Phoenix to tent cities in the desert surrounded by electric fencing, but by squandering taxpayer dollars on political investigations and showy neighborhood sweeps while violent crime in his jurisdiction skyrocketed. Take a look at this chart of crime in AZ:
According to Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein:
But the more telling number may be the crime statistics for the portion of Maricopa County that is under the purview of controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio. According to data compiled by America’s Voice, crime in that area has actually increased 58 percent since 2002.
Arpaio is considered something of a visionary among conservatives with respect to his approach to immigration. Many of his reforms, indeed, have served as a basis for the law that Gov. Jan Brewer tried to implement statewide. But he has clashed with other sheriffs over his methods, with some complaining that such broad anti-immigration policies put an overwhelming burden on law enforcement officials while producing social friction rather than safety.
Angle’s vision for Nevada and the US, therefore, would include sacrificing community safety to squander millions (or more likely, billions) of tax-payer dollars to flog the immigration issue. Just glance through Arpaio’s own notorious record:
Violent Crime Rates Rise Under Arpaio, Fall in Rest of Arizona
Under Arpaio, 911 Response Time Increased, Arrest Rates Decreased
Over 40,000 Un-served Felony Warrants
Conservative Think Tank Report: Arpaio’s Policies are Ineffective, Harmful, and a Waste of Millions of Taxpayer Dollars
Mesa Police Chief: Arpaio’s Approach Hurts Community Safety
Arpaio Under Investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for Civil Rights Abuses
Arpaio Under FBI Investigation for Using his Power to Intimidate Political Opponents
Judge Says Conditions in Arpaio’s Jails “Violate the Constitution”