Sheriff Joe Arpaio is heartbroken that Homeland Security took back any authority they had given his agency to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. On December 21, 2011, a right wing group calling themselves Southwest Border Sheriff’s posted video on their site showing Arpaio questioning federal resolve and methodology in enforcing federal law.
First let’s look at who the Southwest Border Sheriff’s are. They are not a group made up of the actual Sheriff’s along the southwest border as one may suspect by their title, though some of the border sheriff’s may be members. Rather they are a group of right wing guys much like the minutemen, who claim to support “securing the borders against illegal aliens, human/drug traffickers, and standing up for second amendment rights.”
Members of this group pay dues and get to buy their own official looking badges that identify themselves as “Posse Members” of the Southwest Border Sheriffs. These guys subject themselves to contact either by email or telephone, whenever the groups leadership feels the need to mobilize support for their initiatives. The really cool think about this group is that instead of paying $85 for a dull looking silver badge, you can pay an additional $5 and buy a spiffy looking gold badge just like the feds.
After paying your membership fee of $25, plus $85 or $90 for the badge (depending on how cool you want to look), you receive your four window decals and you’re ready to go. You can get out and voice your support for the second amendment while actively supporting Sheriff Joe and his campaign against illegal aliens. The funny thing is that nowhere on this site nor in any of Sheriff Joe’s ramblings, have I heard any mention of going after the rich white guys who recruit and hire illegal aliens. I guess they all get a pass. Maybe it’s just more fun for the posse to harass poor people?
So, what was Arpaio grumbling about on a local Fox News affiliates video posted on this organizations website? Sheriff Joe told us how his agency had been placing holds of 15.5 illegal immigrants a day and that since being stripped of his authority to assist the feds, that number was down to three. He whined about how his one hundred ICE trained officers were supposedly going to be replaced by fifty ICE agents and to date only one ICE agent had arrived; “I’m waiting to see what year or what century they arrive” he adds. Finally, Sheriff Joe went on to complain that the feds were “putting public safety at risk.”
Arpaio’s comments lead me to wonder. Just how high has the crime rate of the greater Phoenix area climbed now that Sheriff Joe is putting away 12.5 fewer illegal aliens a day? Furthermore, I have to wonder how many more Hispanic US citizens are able to go about their day unmolested by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office; an agency that was recently found to stop Latino drivers four to nine more times than similarly situated non-Latino drivers.