Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County, Arizona, who has frequently butted heads with the federal government over the treatment of undocumented immigrants in Arizona, declared that he was suing President Obama over Obama’s recently unveiled immigration reform order.
A group called Freedom Watch released news of the suit, which included a statement from Arpaio that said “among the many negative affects of this executive order, will be the increased release of criminal aliens back onto streets of Maricopa County, Arizona, and the rest of the nation.”
On Thursday, November 20th, Obama unveiled a broad immigration-reform executive order that would provide legal status for about 5 million undocumented immigrants in this country. High-ranking Republicans lambasted the plan and many, like Arpaio, called it unconstitutional.
Arpaio, in his sixth term as sheriff of Maricopa County, gained national fame for his controversial tactics in dealing with the flow of undocumented immigrants crossing the Arizona border from Mexico. These included demanding immigration papers during routine traffic stops.
Some other law enforcement agencies in states experiencing large influxes of immigrants copied those tactics. But the federal government has fought successfully to rein in Arpaio’s practices, finding last year that it had racially profiled Latinos during its patrol operations.
On Thursday, a federal judge warned Arpaio that his agency could be cited with contempt of court if it didn’t didn’t cooperate more fully in the long-running civil-rights case against it.
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