Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a long history of abusing power and terrorizing immigrant families in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and the metro area. A Department of Justice report affirmed that Arpaio’s office is the worst purveyor of racial profiling investigators have ever seen: from the creation of Tent City, the most inhumane jail in the country, to his relentless persecution of the migrant community.
But even though he has been denounced by the people and sanctioned by the courts, the Obama administration continues to deport his victims. Just last week, Arpaio claimed to have sent 5,000 people to ICE for deportation in the last year and a half.
It’s time for Arpaio to resign and take his legacy of inhumane treatment and racial profiling with him. That’s why we’re partnering with Puente Arizona on a conference-wide direct action on Friday during Netroots Nation.
Join us July 17 at noon to rally at the 4th Avenue Jail for an #ArpaioFreeAZ. Immediately after the morning keynote, we’ll march a few blocks to the jail to demand that ICE immediately remove their deportation agents from Arpaio’s jails.
Here’s what we are fighting for alongside our local partners:
Arpaio’s immediate resignation: Arpaio needs to go and take the racist, abusive policies and practices he institutionalized with him.
An end to Police-ICE collaboration: As the first sheriff to have his officers allowed to act as ICE agents by the federal government, Arpaio paved the way for SB1070. Now police departments across the state can racially profile with impunity. We demand ICE agents immediately leave the 4th Avenue Jail and that ICE stop deporting those swept up in the criminal justice system through the corrupt, abusive Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.
Human rights in Maricopa County Jails: We demand the immediate closing of Tent City, independent investigation into all deaths in custody, and adequate healthcare and mental health care for inmates. Arpaio has worked to strip the dignity of people in his custody through chain gangs, inadequate meals, striped uniforms and pink underwear. Stopping the dehumanization of inmates in county jails starts with ending these practices of intimidation and humiliation.
End discriminatory and abusive enforcement: Arpaio’s posse must be disbanded, and all racial profiling and abuse by officers must be investigated and sanctioned by an independent commission.
Justice for Arpaio’s victims: Justice in Maricopa County is not just the absence of Arpaio. The Sheriff and his cronies have destroyed countless lives over his nearly 25-year reign of terror. It’s time for us to turn the tables on Arpaio and fight to repair the damage he’s done.
Restoring justice in Maricopa County starts with bringing Sheriff Arpaio to justice. The federal government has the power to stop working with Arpaio immediately, so join us Friday, July 17, to make a bold statement that we don’t support Arpaio’s policies, actions, or the systems that support them.
About The Author
Communications director of Netroots Nation and Netroots Foundation.