TUCSON — A federal judge has ruled that the immigration enforcement policies of the man who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff” violated the Constitution by using racial profiling. Some of the sheriff’s past antics included making male inmate wear pink underwear. You don’t believe? Ask rapper DMX.
For years, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has ordered his deputies to detain people they suspect of residing in the country illegally and to hold them for federal authorities.
The 142-page ruling issued Friday by Judge G. Murray Snow came as part of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Latino plaintiffs who asserted that race was a major reason in initiating immigration enforcement stops.
Snow wrote that the sheriff’s practices did in fact rely heavily on race, violating the Constitution’s 4th and 14th amendments. The 4th Amendment guards against unreasonable search and seizure; the 14th Amendment was created to cement the rights of U.S. citizens.
Attorney Tim Casey, who represents the Sheriff’s Office, said the agency would comply with the judge’s order but pursue an appeal.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office “is disappointed in the decision reached today,” Casey said. “The position was and always has been that race is not used to make law enforcement decisions.”
Snow issued an order immediately and permanently barring the Sheriff’s Office from detaining or arresting Latinos or stopping Latinos in vehicles simply because of a suspicion they may be in the country illegally.
Actress Eva Longoria is a staunch advocate on immigration rights so this must come as good news for her cause. She recently graduated with a master’s degree in Chicano studies and she stated that her purpose for the degree was to further help the cause of Latino immigrants in America. The Desperate Housewives alum earned her master’s degree from California State University, Northridge on Wednesday.
Arpaio plans on appealing the federal court’s decision. Good luck with that one buddy!
Source: NY Times
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