CREATED Jun 25, 2012
Reporter: Craig Smith
PHOENIX (KGUN9-TV) - On a day when immigration enforcement is on the top of our news, you’ve got to check in with the man who made immigration enforcement his trademark: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The Sheriff says he’s pleased with the ruling but says it won’t affect his operations. He says he was legally doing all along what the court approved. But Arpaio’s tactics are part of the reason 1070 opponents say the law could lead to profiling and harassment of any Hispanic.
Sheriff Arpaio goes so far as to describe the Federal conflict over immigration with his office and Arizona state government as a war on Arizona. He says the Feds co operate with local law enforcement on drugs, guns and other crimes, so why not immigration?
He says that issue is too tied down in efforts to attract Hispanic voters
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked him: ”Is it a vote getter?”
Arpaio: Depends whose side you’re on. I’m sure I don’t have all the Hispanics standing in line to vote for this Sheriff. But you know what? I don’t care about the politics. You have to do what’s right, enforce the laws and if no one likes the laws then change it. Then I won’t be enforcing a law that doesn’t exist.”
Arpaio says the ruling on 1070 may not mean much now that the Federal government has shut Arizona out of the program that deputizes local law enforcement to enforce parts of immigration law and allows them to access immigration databases. He says that will make it so hard to check immigration status officers will have to let suspected illegal immigrants go.
The government had already cut his departments ties to the program in it’s dispute with Arpaio over claims of racial profiling. He thinks the Obama administration will never restore the program.
“This is amnesty. They said 2 months ago they do not want to deport 300 thousand. Now they come up with the kids going to school, the DREAM Act, a million of them are getting a pass if they can find them and now we have this program where they may not pick up or they’re not going to pick up illegal aliens unless they can show they’re serious criminals or have felonies. So what about all the rest of the illegals here? I presume they’re going to get a pass?” If they’re not going to take them off our hands what do we do with them?”
Like some of the Republican lawmakers at the Capitol Arpaio is happy about parts of the law that a lower court judge approved early on, so they never went to the Supreme Court, among them, the prohibition of what’s called Sanctuary cities. It prevents cities from setting policies that tell their police not to enforce immigration violations.