Illegal Immigration is Just That – ILLEGAL
By Sheriff Joseph Arpaio
(Special to Latino Perspectives)
Perhaps I see my job as an elected official differently than some other elected officials do. My job as the Sheriff of Maricopa County is to represent the people I serve and secondly, as a law enforcement professional, to enforce all the laws enacted by the state legislature. I cannot and will not arbitrarily decide which laws to enforce and which ones to ignore because it may be “politically popular” to do so. That’s called selective law enforcement and it’s a bad idea.
Illegally entering the United States for any purpose is a crime. It always has been. Whether a person is from Greece or Italy or Mexico or the planet Mars, the rule of law applies. All who wish to come to the United States to live or work must comply with the government’s immigration regulations. Ask any one of the millions of immigrants who legally came to the U.S. whether they think it is fair that others now be allowed to come here illegally and face no penalty of law and the resounding answer will be “no!”
That’s what the Phoenix Mayor does not seem to understand. Phil Gordon panders to a vocal minority group of activists who want nothing more than to open our borders to all who wish to come here. Sadly, he has made Phoenix a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens.
He deplores the fact that I am upholding laws he does not agree with. He would prefer me to turn a blind eye to those who violate our nation’s immigration laws. I cannot. I will not.
Currently this Sheriff’s Office has the nation’s largest contingency of immigration trained law enforcement professionals. One hundred sixty men and women dutifully enforce the laws that voters of this state and county asked to be enforced.
We are good people, doing very hard and dangerous work. We do not racially profile. We do not target brown-skinned people with broken tail lights as Mayor Gordon constantly says about my deputies. We have conducted crime suppression operations in Fountain Hills, Phoenix , Guadalupe, Aguila, Queen Creek and soon we will make our way into Mesa. We routinely contact the police departments prior to our operations to let them know of our plans. Once there, we make traffic stops based on probable cause. We cite or ticket those who commit a violation. And many of those we come in contact with cannot produce any documentation to prove their residency status. Many readily admit they are in the country illegally. Are we to ignore this violation of the law? If so, what other violations can or will we start ignoring? Where do we draw the line?
Phil Gordon is wrong about so many things. He is not a police professional. In fact, he knows very little about police work. That lack of knowledge leads him to make ridiculous and unfounded remarks in speeches and on national television in a vain attempt to discredit me and my organization. I have called him a liar because that is what he is. He throws out arrests statistics which are patently false and claims my office is personally responsible for serving 40,000 felony warrants. Most of those warrants originated with his city’s police department. Every police agency in Arizona is responsible for serving warrants. Phil Gordon knows the truth about warrants and he knows the truth about my immigration operations but he also knows that telling the truth won’t put him in the headlines.