Thursday, October 24, 2019

Five Things to Know About Joe Arpaio

Trump has a history of taking Arpaio’s side, and they have a history of holding similar political positions. Both men have taken a hard stance on immigration, encouraging the Republican Party to follow suit, and both among the nation’s top proponents of “birtherism,” the claim that President Obama was born oversees and not a U.S. citizen.

Arpaio faces real jail time, and is convicted of criminal contempt of court after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton claimed he had demonstrated “flagrant disregard” of a federal court order that directed him to stop his immigration round-ups. Arpaio could face up to six months in prison but hasn’t been sentenced.

He is revered as a hero of the anti-immigrant movement, also earning the reputation as “America’s toughest sheriff.” “My message is clear: If you come here and I catch you, you’re going straight to jail,” he said. “We’re going to arrest any illegal who violates this new law, and I’m not going to turn these people over to federal authorities so they can have a free ride back to Mexico. I’ll give them a free ride to my jail.”

Leftists, immigration activists, and civil rights activists have fought Arpaio every step of the way. One of Arpaio’s acts as sheriff was to build “Tent City,” an outdoor prison meant to reduce overcrowding in county jails, and also a place he has referred to as a concentration camp.

Arpaio held his position as sheriff for 23 years, despite stiff competition and two failed recall elections. It was not until 2016 that Democrats successfully unseated Arpaio in a county where Trump beat Hillary by 3 percentage points, the only “silver lining” of an otherwise disastrous 2016 election.

The Hill Latino