The Corner

The Persecution of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The Washington Times has a good editorial today about the “ideological vendetta” being waged by the Holder Justice Department against Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. The vendetta was prompted by Arpaio’s participation in the 287(g) program, which allows local police to help enforce our immigration laws by detaining illegal aliens. This is a program the Left wants ended, and since they have not been able to persuade Congress to get rid of the authorizing legislation, they are prodding the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to do it for them. I wrote about this investigation for National Review this past summer, pointing out the unethical and unprofessional behavior by the lead lawyer in the Civil Rights Division who is (mis)conducting this abusive investigation. It should be no surprise to anyone that there is no sign that the Inspector General or the Office of Professional Responsibility is looking into these ethical violations, and that the lawyer has not been removed from the case.

Now the Washington Times points out that Arpaio is being sued by the Civil Rights Division’s allies in the ACLU (the number-two lawyer at the division is a former ACLU lawyer) for setting up an anonymous telephone tip line for immigration violations, purportedly because it will generate “false, inaccurate and racially motivated reports.” Interestingly, the division has set up its own anonymous tip line to solicit complaints from illegal immigrants about Arpaio. It’s a good thing that this tip line will not generate any “false, inaccurate and racially motivated” calls.

This is a real sign of the desperation by the Civil Rights Division. They have been harassing Arpaio for the past year and even generated a DHS audit of him (despite having had no complaints that he was not complying with the rules of the 287(g) program), trying to scrape up enough evidence to justify a civil-rights lawsuit against him. That effort appears to have come up short — necessitating an anonymous tip line nine months after the witch-hunt was initiated. As the Washington Times correctly points out, it seems pretty clear that this is intended to “find a crime to pin” on Arpaio.

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