Sheriff Joe Arpaio is facing a campaign to recall him from office. They are collecting signatures, and already have more than half the required amount with two months to go. This follows a re-election campaign last year which saw unprecedented amounts spent on both sides, as George Soros committed $10 million to oust “America’s Sheriff”. Joe was forced to spend his entire ‘war chest’ of $8 million to (barely) hold onto office – the closest race of his career.
Why is the Left in America so focused on a single county’s Sheriff, and willing to spend Congressional-level funds to defeat him?
Well for starters, Sheriff Joe is the biggest national symbol in the fight against illegal immigration. He has refused to back down from enforcing the immigration laws most law enforcement officials ignore, even in the face of attacks by race-baiting activists and lawsuits from the Obama Administration. His ‘Tent City’, pink underwear and cheap eats for inmates are legendary across America.
In addition, Sheriff Joe has taken a strong stand against Federal gun control – further angering the Left. Joe deployed his Posse to defend schools from would-be madmen like the one who targeted the kids in Newtown. He also said he would refuse to enforce any new gun-control laws from Washington – by far the largest county Sheriff to do so.
But perhaps the real reason Sheriff Joe is endlessly (and expensively) targeted is because he aggressively pursues a strategy that hits at the very heart of amnesty proponents. Arpaio systematically conducts workplace raids on companies discovered to have employees who gained employment by using fake or stolen IDs. Those illegal aliens who are arrested in his raids are typically charged with felonies. And any illegals who are convicted of or plea to a felony are put on the fast-track for deportation, or at the very least are barred from ever gaining citizenship or legal status under any version of “immigration reform” legislation. They are even barred from Obama’s DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Understandably, this has enraged the Left.
The worksite raids began in 2008, after Arizona passed an employer-sanctions law meant to impose civil penalties on companies that knowingly hire undocumented workers. The Obama DOJ, La Raza and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce all challenged the law but Arizona prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011. But starting in 2008, Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Attorney decided to use the new law to crack down on workers using false documents and charge them with identity theft. This strategy would ensure that a criminal record would keep illegal aliens from ever obtaining citizenship.
Arpaio has conducted 71 such workplace raids since 2008, arresting many hundreds of illegal alien identity thieves in the process. Workers are often charged with multiple counts of identity theft, typically a Class 4 felony, and offered plea bargains to a lower charge, such as “taking the identity of another,” a Class 6 violation. But even with such a conviction, they are typically guaranteed to be deported, and regardless, can never gain legal status in the U.S. under any current or proposed legislation.
“Joe’s Law” has had an outsized impact on illegal immigration in Arizona. Maricopa County may be just one county, but it is the 4th largest in the United States. And Arpaio and his deputies arrest a staggering 25% of all illegals detained by law enforcement each year in the U.S. Coupled with the landmark immigration law SB1070, Joe’s Law has sent illegal alien fleeing from the state. Since 2008, when Arpaio began his raids, an estimated 200,000 illegal aliens have fled Arizona, according to DHS data. By contrast, since Obama took office, he has slashed worksite enforcement by over 70%.
There is nothing to stop other states from following Joe’s lead. Arizona-style employer sanctions and ID theft laws, with Sheriffs willing to prosecute illegals for felony crimes, is the model for states whose legislatures want to enforce the rule of law, in opposition to the Obama Administration’s multiple channels of amnesty.
The Left is seething at Sheriff Joe’s actions. In a piece in Salon.com, Arpaio is lambasted for “cheating immigration reform” and “shattering dreams of immigrants”, when of course he is merely doing what every Sheriff, police chief and ICE ought to be doing: enforcing the laws on the books.
The group behind the Arpaio recall, Puente, is quoted in the Salon piece:
“Maricopa County is the only county that is doing these raids. They don’t have to do these raids–that is immigration’s job,” said Carlos Garcia, director of Puente, a pro-immigrant and human rights organization in Phoenix. “If we don’t stop Arpaio…the people from the 71 raids are never going to be able to obtain citizenship or any other legal status in the country because of the felonies.”
That’s right. This is Sheriff Joe’s “secret weapon” against amnesty and it enrages the Left that a country Sheriff who cannot be fired is able to so easily stymie their plans for illegal alien amnesty – which explains why they are so desperate to recall him from office.
And so long as he remains Sheriff, no one – not the DOJ, nor the “Gang of Eight”, nor Obama or Napo0litano – can stop him from enforcing the law and torpedoing amnesty for every illegal alien he books for identity theft.
So long as he remains Sheriff, that is…