Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, also known as Sheriff Joe, is the most famous sheriff in the country for his no nonsense take on law enforcement. Those law breakers who are unfortunate enough to find themselves arrested and incarcerated in Sheriff Joe's tent city prison find that they are required to suffer the "humiliation" of *gasp* wearing prison stripes and pink underwear, eating only baloney sandwiches, and walking in chain gangs. Sheriff Joe's rules have long violated the left's delicate sensibilities, so the left considers him to be a monster that must be stopped. They may get their way, too, as Obama's Justice Department has started an investigation into Sheriff Joe. Not because of these previously mentioned "abuses" but because he has dared to enforce immigration laws:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona following requests by congressional Democrats and allegations by liberal activists that the department has violated the civil rights of illegal aliens.
Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Robert Scott (D-Va.) requested the investigation, and activists groups such as National Day Laborer Organizer Network and ACORN launched petition drives and rallies in support of the probe.
The investigation focuses on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and dozens of officers under his command who were trained through the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), which partners federal and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws. (The Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division is known popularly as ICE.)
This investigation is frivolous and nothing but an attempt to appease the pro-illegal immigration lobby that owns the Democratic party. It's also a terrible waste of taxpayers' dollars, especially at a time when we don't have the extra cash to throw around. Sheriff Joe is one of, if not the only, law enforcement officer who is not afraid to follow the law:
Concerning the DOJ's investigation, Arpaio told CNSNews.com: "I will not back down. What I am doing is upholding the laws of the state of Arizona, and I will not be persuaded to turn my back on my oath of office as sheriff of this county."
Sheriff Joe outlines on his website the process of determining an arrestee's residency status:
I uphold those laws wherever, whenever it is possible and lawful to do so. I have asked my deputies to train with the federal government so they may help in the fight against the illegal immigration. Today, I am proud to say I have the largest contingency of cross certified law enforcement men and women (160 of them) who are out patrolling in an intensified effort to bring illegal immigrants to justice.
I have also started an effort inside my jails. Many local police agencies do not want to be in the business of determining a lawbreaker's residency status. An illegal immigrant breaks the law - local police bring them to jail and charge them with the crimes they committed on the streets. My detention officers take thins [sic] a step further. They are now trained to follow up with each of those arrested and, if the arrestee is found to be in the country illegally, my officers charge him/her with that crime as well.
Sheriff Joe scoffed at the investigation and responded by inviting Congressman Conyers to Arizona to check out the jail:
"He (Conyers) can come here," the sheriff said. "I wrote him a letter inviting him to come to Phoenix. I'll take him to the tents. But, he never responded."
The "tents" are Arpaio's Tent City Jail. The federal investigations were triggered by the sheriff's decision last month to put 200 illegal immigrants, held for various violations, in a segregated part of Tent City. The sheriff's crime sweeps also have been criticized as racial profiling against Hispanics.
Arpaio said before he would go to Washington to testify before Conyers' committee, "He's going to have to come here and I'll show him the real story. I'll even buy his airline ticket."
The investigations by the Justice Department and Congress are nothing more than politics at play, Arpaio said.
"How come everybody's a Democrat? Everybody that's involved in this."
He said he has a message for Conyers: "Do you really think I'm going to surrender?"
Good for Sheriff Joe.