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USA Today on Saturday’s March: Arpaio’s Arizona is ‘ground zero’ of immigration fight

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 01/15/2010 at 9:12am

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USA Today reports that Arizona has become ‘ground zero’ of our nation’s immigration fight, largely on account of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s controversial tactics and several anti-immigrant measures that have made their way into law there: 

When activists from around the country rally for immigrants’ rights Saturday, it’s no coincidence that they’ll converge here.

Arizona is the flash point of the immigration debate, a place where high levels of illegal immigration have led to state and local restrictions, most recently a law that requires government workers to report illegal immigrants seeking public benefits.

Perhaps the most visible figure in Arizona’s immigration politics is Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He has won praise and condemnation for having deputies swarm neighborhoods, stopping people in search of criminals and illegal immigrants.

The article continues by citing the Justice Department investigation into Arpaio’s tactics (but fails to mention that Sheriff Joe is also being investigated by the FBI and summoned before a Grand Jury right now, too…):

His department is under investigation by the Justice Department for allegations of racial profiling and discrimination based on national origin.

Arpaio says that won’t stop him. “I’m not going to ignore the laws because of pressure from Washington or demonstrators or politicians,” he says.

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