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Arpaio Latest: AZ Sheriff Calls in Controversial Lawyer, Defies Federal Immigration Ruling

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According to Miriam Jordan at the Wall Street Journal, in “Arizona Sheriff, U.S. in Standoff Over Immigration Enforcement:”

An Arizona sheriff said he planned to defy Washington’s attempts to roll back his staunch enforcement of federal immigration law, a move that could put him on a collision course with the U.S. government.

Late last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the largest arm of the Department of Homeland Security, stripped Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the authority to use 100 of his deputies to enforce federal immigration in his jurisdiction, which includes Phoenix. The customs agency took the action because Mr. Arpaio’s aggressive immigration crackdowns had drawn criticism from human-rights groups and had run afoul of the U.S. Justice Department, which is investigating whether he has used racial profiling and abused his authority.

In an interview this week, Mr. Arpaio said he would ignore Washington’s effort to clip his powers and would train all of his 881 deputies to enforce federal immigration law on the streets.

To do just that, Arpaio has called in controversial lawyer, Kris Kobach, attorney with the Immigration Reform Law Institute. The group is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), long designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Kobach will “train” Maricopa County, Arizona’s sworn deputies on enforcing immigration law and avoiding charges of racial profiling. Interesting.

Among other things, the announcement puts to rest any remaining questions of whether hate groups have a hand in Arpaio’s policy decisions.  Before this week, Sheriff Joe had been less than forthcoming about his association with the controversial organization.
When asked who was paying for Kobach’s work with Maricopa deputies, Arpaio responded:

“I don’t know who paid his way here. I’d pay his way if I had to.” 

Last Fall, Arpaio claimed that his deputies’ tactics of detaining people based on nothing more than their speech and the type of clothes they wear was justified by Federal law.  It turned out that what Arpaio thought was actual law was, however, a legal brief written by the very same hate group, FAIR. Now, FAIR’s Kobach, a man who once bragged about bumping minority voters off of the rolls in Kansas, has officially been brought to Maricopa County to train deputies on racial profiling. 

It would be ironic were it not so utterly despicable.