Nativism Watch

Arpaio and Mack head to Texas, lend support to aspiring ‘constitutional sheriffs’


Imagine2050 Staff • Jan 29, 2016

Arizona’s notoriously anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not limiting his endorsements to the presidential race.

Early next month, Arpaio will head to Harris County, Texas, with anti-government activist Richard Mack in support of a local law enforcement official’s campaign for sheriff.

Advertised online as “Constitutional Sheriffs Day in Harris County,” Arpaio and Mack will participate at three separate events on Saturday, February 6.

Richard Mack, Source: Wikimedia

Richard Mack, Source: Wikimedia

According to a Facebook page promoting the events, the first stop will be in Houston and co-hosted by anti-immigrant group Texans for Immigration Reduction and Enforcement (TFIRE). The flagship anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) lists TFIRE as a state contact group on its website.

In late October, Mack was a featured speaker at FAIR’s third annual Sheriff Border Summit in McAllen, Texas.

Mack, a former sheriff in Arizona and longtime figure in the anti-government “patriot” movement, now leads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). In April 2014, he held a prominent role in leading the armed standoff between anti-government extremists and federal agents – ostensibly in support of tax-delinquent rancher Cliven Bundy.

The April 2014 protests planted the seed for the ongoing standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge which was led by Bundy’s son, Ammon, until he and others were arrested earlier this week. Prior to their occupation of the refuge, Bundy and fellow extremists held a protest in Burns, Oregon which Mack attended.

Last year, Arpaio and his colleagues admitted they had ignored a judge’s orders following a court decision, in Melendres v. Arpaio, which found his office guilty of rampant racial profiling. Arpaio’s contempt trial ended in November with a decision still pending.

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