The findings by the U.S. Justice Department that Sheriff Joe Arpaio violated the civil rights of Latinos in his pursuit of undocumented immigrants have led to the expulsion of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office from a federal immigration enforcement program.
The program, part of the Department of Homeland Security, allows trained deputies to enforce immigration laws. Sec. Janet Napolitano made the announcement on Thursday, adding that the office will also be restricted in its use of the Secure Communities program.
As previously reported by La Plaza, the Justice Department found that Arpaio and the sheriff’s office routinely discriminated against Latinos, including racial profiling during routine traffic stops and treating legal residents as criminals.
“Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s blatant disregard for the rule of law is nothing short of appalling,” said Dan Werner, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Sadly, though, the Department of Justice’s findings of serious constitutional violations are not surprising given his celebrity status among those who have been peddling and successfully passing unconstitutional anti-immigrant laws in several states.”
In Maricopa County, Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be singled out for routine traffic stops, according to the report.
Several legislators, including U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) have called for Arpaio’s resignation.