Rev. Al Sharpton Demands Sheriff Arpaio’s Resignation

Written by on April 7, 2009 in Enforcement, Interior Enforcement with 9 Comments

Photo by cobalt123.

In an act of solidarity with the immigrant community, National Action Network’s Reverend Al Sharpton and ACORN‘s Chief Organizer and CEO, Bertha Lewis called for Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s resignation and an end to racial profiling on a national media call today. Never one to miss the national spotlight, Sheriff Arpaio is currently the focus of a Department of Justice investigation for abuses of the 287(g) program, “alleged patterns of discriminatory police practices, and discrimination based on a person’s national origin.” Rev. Al Sharpton charged Sheriff Arpaio with egregious civil and human rights violations:

I am calling for an end to the civil and human rights violations being committed in Maricopa County, the termination of the 287(g) program through which local agencies can enforce Federal immigration laws, and the immediate resignation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The egregious nature of Arpaio’s abuses, marking him as the Bull Connor of the 21st Century, demands nothing less.

The 287(g) program consists of a partnership between local police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which gives police the power to enforce immigration laws.  Sheriff Arpaio, whose actions have been described as a “reign of terror,” has drawn criticism from all over the country for staging publicity stunts in the name of immigration enforcement—requiring detainees to wear pink underwear, segregating inmates, and most recently, marching shackled inmates to a tent city surrounded by an electric fence. But what has everyone’s underwear in a twist is the racial profiling that leads to inmates’ arrest. Arpaio has been accused of “using minor traffic violations as an excuse to conduct invasive questions regarding citizenship status.”  An unsatisfactory answer wins a 10-day detention for citizens and non-citzens alike.

House Judiciary Chair John Conyers said it best when he handed over a petition to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security signed by more than 38,000 Arizona residents calling for an investigation of Arpaio:

We think, in a lot of ways, our Hispanics brothers and sisters are becoming the new targets of discrimination and profiling that used to occur to African Americans. What we’re saying together, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and everyone else, is no more racial profiling!

And the African-American community isn’t the only group speaking out against Arpaio. Last week, Arpaio’s own Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to postpone the acceptance of $1.6 million in supplemental funding from the state that would help pay for Sheriff Arpaio’s controversial enforcement tactics. ACORN’s Bertha Lewis is also demanding justice and accountability:

We are sending an important message to Sheriff Arpaio and everyone who seeks to scapegoat communities of color. By forging unity between the African-American and Latino civil rights movements and the immigrants’ rights movement, communities of color will act in solidarity in defense of our rights and demand justice in every corner of this great nation.

While taking up the immigration mantle today, ACORN and Sharpton are sending a crucial message—immigration is not just a Hispanic, Asian or African issue—it’s an everybody issue. Enforcement officers can’t determine immigration status by looking at skin color and when you discriminate against one person, be they busyboys, dishwashers or doctors, you discriminate against us all. As Rev. Al Sharpton articulated on today’s call:

We need to stop comparing disparities and start finding solutions. It is imperative for the African American community to stand together with the Latino community and for the Latino community to stand with the Asian community. You cannot have human rights for some—we need it for all. We must stand together with all our brothers and sisters against this national outrage.



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  • KimNorth

    Sharpton should be ashamed of himself!
    Now that we have Obama in office he is just looking for his next paycheck. I am also very disappointed in Acorn like “WHAT”. Illegals are taking our jobs in the factory where I got laid off but the Illegals still have a job or my husband who is side stept for a construction job instead again for an illegal getting it. Enough already! Are black brothers and sisters need to stand up to Shartons opportunist actions he could care less about the people. He is a trader!!!

  • Charles Smalls

    If what I read here and what I hear from other news reports is true. Then, I believe that Sherriff Arpaio needs to resign, and if he does not resign, he should be fired!! These immigrants are being treated like blacks were treated back in the 60s and 70s. I think that a full goverment investigation is in order and criminal charges be brought against Arpaio!! I do truely hope that justice will prevail and that our immigrant guests can become full American citizens!!

  • Donna Nicholl

    What part of the word illegal does Sharpton not understand. If you are a legal citizen of this country you do not have to worry. There is a BIG difference in being a legal immigrant and an illegal immigrant. I’m all for legal immigration. If I go to a foreign country and I am there illegally I expect to be legally detained. I surely do not expect free medical care and for my children to be educated at the expense of that country. If I am employed there I will be expected to pay taxes at an highher rate than the citizens of that country.The people of Maricopa County ( the legal ones voted him in for a reason). Thats the way are country works. If people don’t like it find a better country to live in and pay your taxes there. Nobody forced the illegals to come here. If you come follow the rules. When in Rome!!

  • Kevin

    ABC news is reporting that Mr Conyers contacted the Phoenix NAACP

    MCSO said the attempt was unsuccessful however, as the NAACP head had no complaints about the Sheriff’s Office or local law enforcement about racial profiling. So representatives from the NAACP were not invited to testify at the hearings.

    Read it!

  • Jan

    Sharpton is so stupid that it’s laughable. Why can’t these black leaders see that ILLEGAL ALIENS are the ones taking the jobs from the black teens, from all teens of all races for that matter. The jobs that our teens used to do after school,on weekends and summer break are filled by ADULT ILLEGAL ALIENS. Go look at any construction site and see how many black OR white tradesmen you see working there. If the U.S. would make it illegal for ILLEGAL ALIENS to work here, I guarantee that the ILLEGAL alien problem would go away on it’s own with no other cost to the U.S. taxpayers.

  • JeremyH

    While immigration restrictionists have tried to convince us that undocumented immigration is particularly harmful to African American workers, experts and academics have found ample evidence to the contrary. Gerald Jaynes, Professor of Economics and African American Studies at Yale University recently testified before the US Commission on Civil Rights and admitted that he had previously believed that immigration must have a profound negative effect on the jobs and wages of African American workers. However, he changed his mind after doing his research:

    “To ascertain the quantitative effect of immigration, we undertook a large scale statistical analysis of the U.S. labor market. Despite strong convictions for our hypothesis that immigration had large negative effects on black workers in particular, the data forced us to conclude otherwise, negative effects were mostly absent and modest at worst for only a small segment of lowest skilled workers.”

    Richard Nadler, President of the America’s Majority Foundation, also testified and found that states with the highest number of immigrants also had the lowest rates of Black unemployment. In fact, states that experienced the highest levels of growth in their immigrant populations actually saw decreased black unemployment.

    Rather than pitting groups against one another, wouldn’t a better course be to fix the structural problems of our economy and work on the social problems that lead to Black (or any) unemployment? As Professor Jaynes stated, rather than limiting immigration, “A democratic society benefiting from immigration and debating how to reshape its immigration policies should be discussing social policies to compensate less-skilled workers through combinations of better training, relocation, and educational opportunities.”

  • Anonymous

    ACORN is reminding more and more of the brownshirts in Hitler’s Germany.

    Illegal aliens are a blight on our nation. They all need to be deported — and there’s no need for families to be “torn apart” because, unlike other criminals, they can take their families with them.

    Sharpton and Lewis are embarrassments to the human species.

  • Legal Mexican-American

    I’m so proud that it has now caught the attention of rev. Sharpton. For anyone to disagree with sharpton it’s possible that you are not listening correctly or maybe you need to do your homework first. If u do not live in AZ or have friends that are illegal but pay taxes and work then you really don’t know what you are talking about. If it was easy and so simple to gain citizenship we wouldn’t have this issue. On the lack of jobs u can blame the economy. If you are blaming an illegal you are most likely wrong, because I have yet to see a Mexican on the side of the road begging for money. They will stand outside all day willing to work for a dollar. It’s amazing how ignorant it is for people to disagree with Sharpton, because there is no way to justify being treated less than shit when these are people. If u don’t think illegals should be able to work a job to support there families then there is only one thing left to do that will put $ on the table and that’s dealing drugs. By the way I am an American who will do what ever it takes to feed my son.

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