Last week, we looked at an allegation by the Earl Warren Institute of UC Berkeley that 287(g) programs increase racial profiling. Since, it has become public attention that DHS is proposing to strip Sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of the leading “enforcers” of 287(g) in Maricopa county, of some of his enforcement powers. If it passes, now, instead of police officers pulling someone over in the street because of their “clothing”, Arpaio’s deputies will only have the power to turn inmates over to ICE. Whether that will stop Arpaio from conducting raids and sweeps, is yet to be seen. Andrea Nill wrote a great post at The Wonk Room revealing how even Arpaio admits that “clothing, speech and conduct determine if someone is ‘illegal'”.
Over the past 24 hours, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has appeared on several major news networks groaning about his curtailed power to enforce immigration laws and denying allegations of racial profiling which many believe are the reason federal immigration authorities decided to present him with a new agreement which limits his authority. However, in a CNN interview with Rick Sanchez this afternoon, Arpaio revealed that his deputies are in fact arresting people based on the way they look:
SANCHEZ: You just said you detain people who haven’t committed a crime — how do you prove they they’re not illegal?
ARPAIO: It has to do with their conduct, what type of clothes they’re wearing, their speech, they admit it, they may have phony IDs. A lot of variables are involved.
SANCHEZ: You judge people and arrest them based on their speech and the clothes they’re wearing sir?
ARPAIO: No, when they’re in the vehicle with someone who has committed a crime. We have the right to talk to those people. When they admit that they are here illegally we take action…the federal law specifies the speech, the clothes, the environment, the erratic behavior. It’s right in the law.
Read the article in its entirety here: http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/10/08/joe-arpaio-287g/