Immigration activists react to federal judge's ruling - New York News

Immigration activists react to federal judge's ruling

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PHOENIX -

Leaders in the Latino community are claiming victory over Sheriff Joe Arpaio after a federal judge ruled that Arpaio and his deputies racially profiled Latinos during immigration sweeps.

The court says clearly there is to be no use or race whatsoever in any law enforcement decision and prohibits the sheriff's office from detaining illegal aliens when they are discovered unless there is a criminal state charge that can be brought against them. Leaders in the Latino community want the sheriff out of office.

"Arpaio we told you so," said attorney Antonio Bustamante.

"Our community has been terrorized," says Mary Rose Wilcox.

From attorneys to activists to a state senator, leaders in the Latino community had harsh words for Sheriff Joe Arpaio after a federal judge found the sheriff's office relied on race in their immigration enforcement.

"We watched you as you rounded up brown people just because they were brown and just because you could. We hated what you were doing, it was discrimination and you pounded your chest and said I'll do what I want," said Bustamante. "What this court order does among many things is say, no you cannot Joe Arpaio."

"On the one hand you can say today is a day to celebrate. It's also a shameful and sad day because what this showed is, it wasn't a neighbor who discriminated, it wasn't an employer, it was a top law officer in Maricopa County who took an oath to protect and to serve," said Randy Parraz, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona.

The ruling came more than 8 months after a class action civil rights trial that focused on immigration sweeps and traffic patrols.

Those who filed the lawsuit weren't seeking money but rather policy changes.

"MCSO's position is and has always been that it does not and never used race against any particular group in the community. It never will use race," said Tim Casey, attorney for Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the sheriff's office.

Tim Casey says the office relied on bad training from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that he says permitted the use of race as one of many factors to determine if a person was in the country illegally.

"The decision here really affects some poor training from ICE and unfortunately we relied on ICE, acted on ICE, and now it turns out ICE was incorrect," said Casey.

Latino leaders are now calling for Arpaio to resign or be recalled.

"We are not going to quit until Sheriff Joe Arpaio is removed as sheriff of Maricopa County his days are over. It's time for him to move on, its time for a new sheriff in Maricopa County," said State Senator Steve Gallardo, District 29.

The sheriff will not face jail time or fines as a result of the ruling. Attorney Tim Casey says the sheriff will make sure to comply with the ruling although they plan to appeal.

Both parties met with the judge in June to talk about how to make changes.

The Latino community is advocating for a court-appointed monitor to look over the sheriff's office.

Read the 142-page full report


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