Infamous Racist Sheriff Arpaio Found in Contempt

Arizona's Joe Arpaio ignored court orders and encouraged his deputies to scrutinize Latino drivers more than whites, a federal judge found.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The Arizona sheriff notorious for his disdain of immigrants was found in contempt by a federal court on Friday for repeatedly violating court orders to stop racially profiling Latinos.


A hero to the anti-immigration movement, six-term Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, together with three deputies, were found in civil contempt by United States District Court Judge G. Murray Snow for disobeying his orders requiring Arpaio and his deputies to stop detaining Latinos based solely on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally.

"In short, the Court finds that the Defendants have engaged in multiple acts of misconduct, dishonesty, and bad faith with respect to the Plaintiff class and the protection of its rights," Snow wrote in his ruling.

The case stems from the 2011 civil case brought by Latino drivers and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Arpaio and his deputies. In May 2013, Snow determined Arpaio had encouraged his deputies to scrutinize Latino drivers more than white drivers during traffic stops. Snow said Arpaio's office profiled and illegally detained Latinos, violating their constitutional rights, and ordered a significant overhaul of the sheriff's office practices. However, Arpaio and his top deputies repeatedly — and publicly — ignored the court's orders.

At a Houston rally in 2015, Arpaio told supporters that he had violated the order "out of spite" and had arrested 500 people. He also admitted to letting his officers conduct immigration patrols for 18 months following the court's order to cease the practice.

Arpaio, 83, who calls himself "America's Toughest Sheriff," was also accused of launching a secret investigation into Snow and his wife in an effort to get him removed from the case.

In his ruling Friday, Snow also found Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan, retired Chief Brian Sands and Lt. Joe Souza in civil contempt.

Snow scheduled a hearing for May 31 to determine options to compel Arpaio and his deputies to obey his orders, including one option of appointing an outside agency to take over the sheriff's office. The case can also be referred for federal criminal prosecution that could expose Arpaio and his deputies to fines and jail time.

"Any public official who has been found guilty of racial profiling and ignores the orders of the court cannot be entrusted with the safety and well-being of the community and should step down in shame," the immigrant rights group Puente Arizona said in a statement Friday.

"The court has found that Sheriff Arpaio intentionally and repeatedly violated federal court orders," said Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, in a statement. "His recalcitrance ends here. Strong remedies are needed to protect the community's rights, starting with internal investigations that root out and punish misconduct. Willing or not, the sheriff will be made to comply with the law."

Trump: ‘No Judges or Court Cases’ for Immigrants — Even Though Many Are Fleeing Drug Violence Incited by the U.S.

"Zero tolerance" rages on even for those seeking refuge from nations plagued with violence thanks to drug wars — but the white American drug user crisis continues.

REUTERS

Returning to his racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric, President Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday:

There's no universal description of what “these people" look like, their history, their family and why they are seeking refuge. But the president is largely painting an inaccurate picture of who most of them are.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, "Despite what the president says, the situation at the border is much more nuanced. There's not a flood of people racing across the border. The majority of migrants aren't dangerous criminals. Many are women and families — and many are fleeing gang violence rather than seeking to spread that violence farther north."

No matter who the migrants are, Trump's narrative that people are swarming the border at alarming rates is not based in fact. In 2017, the number of people trying to enter the United States illegally was less than 20 percent of the number recorded in 2000 — 303,916 compared to 1,643,679.

The national dialogue has largely focused on immigration from Mexico, but people escaping violence are increasingly coming from nations in Central America. Immigration from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — a group of countries referred to as the Northern Triangle — has risen by 25 percent between 2007 and 2015, according to Pew Research Center, with the most coming from El Salvador. According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), "Salvadorians make up the second-largest unauthorized immigrant population in the United States."

The U.S. Department of State — Bureau of Consular Affairs does not recommend travel to any of these countries "due to crime."

The Council on Foreign Relations reported, "Migrants from all three countries cite violence, forced gang recruitment, and extortion, as well as poverty and lack of opportunity, as their reasons for leaving."

And it turns out the U.S. is partially to blame. According to Reuters, "More Salvadorans have been killed since the end of the country's 12-year civil war in 1992, than during the entire conflict which killed an estimated 75,000 people."

Reuters further reported:

When the U.S. government pumped billions of dollars into Colombia in the 1990s to combat the country's drug cartels and stem the supply of Colombian cocaine to the United States, the problem shifted to Mexico, experts say.

In response, Mexico intensified its crackdown on the drug trade in 2006, prompting drug traffickers to move their transit routes to parts of Central America.

The incursion of Mexican drug cartels into parts of Central America, in particular El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, helped the maras expand their reach and power.

Although the U.S. has sent money and resources in attempts to aid the Northern Triangle, citizens of those countries remain in a daily violent nightmare thanks to drug trafficking. According to the Council on Foreign Relations:

Drug trafficking adds to the violence. U.S.-led interdiction efforts in Colombia, Mexico, and the Caribbean have pushed trafficking routes into Central America, and U.S. officials report that 90 percent of documented cocaine flows into the United States now pass through the region [emphasis added]. DTOs sometimes partner with maras to transport and distribute narcotics, sparking turf wars. In addition to the drug trade and extortion, criminal groups in the region also profit from kidnapping for ransom and human trafficking and smuggling.

Central American immigrants are less likely to seek entry to the United States for economic or family reasons than other Latino immigrants, according to Pew:

Central Americans were more likely than other Latino migrants to cite conflict or persecution as a reason they left – 13% said that was the main reason they came to the U.S., compared with 4% of other Hispanic migrants [emphasis added], according to the National Survey of Latinos.

Gang-related violence also has roots in America. Mass deportations of gang members in the mid-1990s from the U.S. to Central America resulted in members re-organizing their efforts, notably in El Salvador.

"The violence today is a phenomenon fuelled by the actions of the U.S. government that saw mass deportations of mostly young men," former congressman Raul Mijango reported to Reuters.

"Many of those deported had been part of criminal groups. They knew how to organize themselves and they started to build roots in their communities."

Despite Trump's rhetoric, though, these gang members are largely not the migrants seeking entry to the U.S. today. Members of MS-13 made up less than 1 percent of undocumented people who tried to cross the border.

DHS Issues Vague Plan on Reuniting Immigrant Families And It Comes with Conditions: Report

Detainees report that the so-called "well coordinated" process requires them to sign away any chance of citizenship.

REUTERS

Roughly one quarter of children who have been torn from their families at the border have been reunited with their loved ones. Over the weekend, the Department of Homeland Security issued a vague — and reportedly conditioned — way to bring all of the separated families back together.

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Trump Rallies Base With Coordinated Communications Plan

From dining at Mexican restaurants to wearing clothing with messages, the Trump administration is leveraging hateful communications for political success.

By Sheryl Estrada and Luke Visconti

Despite the backlash against the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy regarding immigrants, President Trump boosted his approval ratings among Republicans to 90 percent, higher than Ronald Reagan at this point in his presidency.

The rise in Trump support "suggests a level of unity among Republicans that could help mitigate Mr. Trump's low overall approval ratings and aid his party's chances of keeping control of the House of Representatives in November," The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The number of people identifying as Republican since 2016 has dropped and the Democrats have an 8 percentage point advantage, up slightly from when they won the popular vote by 3 million. Trump's approval rating amongst non-Republicans is at 15 percent, lower than any other president in recent history, including George W. Bush.

The key for the November congressional elections is going to be voter turn out – and it appears that the Republicans have a decisive advantage after last week's apparently coordinated hate communications campaign.

Immigrants Will 'Infest' America

After backlash from politicians and the general public, Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday saying immigrant families will no longer be separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The separation was a result of the "zero tolerance" policy.

On Tuesday, he said immigrants would infest America:

I Really Don't Care, Do You?

On Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump made an unexpected trip to Texas to visit a shelter for immigrant children. She wore a short trench coat with a message written on the back: "I Really Don't Care, Do U?"

Melania Trump wore the jacket boarding the plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and when she returned.

Social media users posted about the irony of what the first lady chose to wear to visit kids separated from their families.

East Wing communications director Stephanie Grisham said there was "no hidden message" behind the jacket.

Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted that the statement was against the "fake news media":

Dining at Mexican Restaurants

In the middle of a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, Stephen Miller — the senior White House adviser who orchestrated the "zero-tolerance" policy — had dinner on June 17 at Espita Mezcaleria in Washington, D.C.

"Hey look guys, whoever thought we'd be in a restaurant with a real-life fascist begging [for] money for new cages?" a customer at the restaurant said to Miller, according to The New York Post.

Miller didn't respond and left quickly, a witness said.

Homeland Security Trump Minister Kirstjen Nielsen then went to another Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for dinner.

A group called the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America approached Nielsen in MXDC Cocina Mexicana.

"If kids don't eat in peace, you don't eat in peace!" protesters chanted. They also shouted, "Shame!"

"Have you listened to it? Have you heard the babies crying? Do you hear them crying?" activists asked, regarding a tape leaked earlier in the week of young children taken at the border crying.

"No borders, no walls, sanctuary for all," they said.

Dining at Red Hen

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took an almost 200-mile drive from the White House to rural Virginia on Friday night to eat at a tiny, 26-seat restaurant in Lexington, where residents overwhelmingly voted against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, despite the rest of the county voting for him.

Huckabee was at the Red Hen with "her husband, three or four men and women of roughly similar ages, and an older couple," according to The Washington Post.

The chef contacted the co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, to let her know Huckabee was present and that the staff was concerned.

When Wilkinson arrived, she asked her employees if they'd like Huckabee to leave and they agreed.

Many of her gay employees were upset by Sanders' defense for the administration's ban on transgender service members and her praise of a Supreme Court ruling that sided with an anti-gay baker.

And earlier in the week, she defended the administration separating migrants from their children at the southern border.

Wilkinson asked Sanders to leave the establishment.

On Saturday morning, Sanders used her official press secretary account to tweet about being asked to leave because she works in the Trump administration:

Scores of South Asia Asylum Seekers Held in Oregon

The detainees have been confined in small cells for up to 22 hours a day with no access to medical treatment, said U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici.

REUTERS

(Reuters) — At least 72 South Asian asylum-seekers are being detained at a federal prison in Oregon after getting caught up in the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy for illegal border-crossers, a U.S. Senator's office said on Wednesday.

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Rep. to Trump: Consult a ‘Not-white-guy’ on Immigration

"I would encourage @realDonaldTrump & his fellow GOP white guys to consult a not-white-guy in their efforts to enact comprehensive immigration reform in less than 24 hours," said Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.).

REUTERS

Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III (Mass.) has called out President Trump on his all-white cronies.

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Bootlickers Continue Their Synchronized Licking

Politics trump ethics for so-called "religious" so-called "leaders." Children screwed over.

Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, might be disturbed by the images and audio of children crying after being separated from their parents after they are detained crossing the U.S. border. However, because Graham has been among President Trump's strongest supporters, he's not blaming the current administration.

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Blonde Affirmative Action Strikes Back. Dopey Move by Nielsen Gives Administration a PR Black Eye in the Middle of the Border Crisis.

Incredibly, Homeland Security Trump Minister Kirstjen Nielsen goes to a Mexican restaurant in the middle of the border crisis.

While the Department of Homeland Security is separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, they have no problem enjoying Mexican food.

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