Those opposed to immigrants tend to dehumanize them so that they can demonize them by labeling with various labels. It is far easier to hate someone when you demonize them beforehand. Undocumented immigrants are especially singled out for dehumanizing labeling. Calling for the expulsion of people from a country is much easier if those to be excluded are labelled as criminals, or worse. The nation’s nativists use the criminal label as a catchall for anyone they deem unworthy of being in the country. Donald Trump did this when he labelled Mexicans, like me, as “rapists”.

I have been told numerous times that Trump’s use of “rapists” did not mean me, or other legal immigrants or that he did not meal “all” Mexicans. Nonetheless, his words were clear to me.

Self-styled “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Joe Arpaio is the personification of the anti-immigrant government official that demonizes immigrants for political purposes. As the Maricopa County sheriff in Arizona, Arpaio carried the torch for the country’s anti-immigrant proponents. Arpaio demonized immigrants as a scourge to the country. Arpaio crusaded on immigration enforcement by arresting as many immigrants as he could assuming that any immigrant that did not have papers was a “criminal”.

The problem is that many undocumented immigrants are not “criminals” because of not having the proper documents to be in the country. The United States federal law does not have a criminal statue for being in the country past the expiration of travel visas or without immigration papers. Federal law, which is the only legal authority over immigrants, treats people without papers to be in the country as a civil matter.

The federal law for those in the country without papers only allows for the civil deportation of them. Being in the United States without papers does not become a criminal matter until after an individual is deported and told not to comeback. People being deported are given an admonition that if they return they will be subject to criminal charges. As such, first-time undocumented immigrants only face one penalty, a civil deportation from the country. That is the law until Congress decides to change it.

It is as simple as that.

However, anti-immigrants use the “criminal” label to demonize undocumented immigrants to make it more palatable to mass deport them as undesirable people.

Joe Arpaio labelled many as “criminals” although they weren’t criminals.

As they say, what goes around comes around…

On July 31, 2017, Joe Arpaio became a convicted criminal.

It is fitting to note that Arpaio was convicted defying a court order ordering Arpaio to stop “detaining suspected undocumented immigrants.”

How’s that for justice?

The individual that demonized and arrested undocumented immigrants was himself convicted of a crime.

The Court, understanding that immigration laws are too complicated for simply enforcing them under “no papers” legislation, had ordered Joe Arpaio and his department to stop arresting people simply for not having papers. It is not illegal to be in the country without papers under federal law and thus the sheriff did not have the authority to arrest them on suspicion of being in the country without papers.

The only law enforcement that has the training to make that determination and thus arrest, or detain an immigrant are federal immigration officers. Arpaio refused to accept the court order because it would expose his political duplicity and thus, today, he is a convicted criminal.

Justice has been served much to the chagrin of some reading this post today.

Martin Paredes

Reporting on public corruption, border politics, immigration and public policy in El Paso since 2000.

7 replies on “Joe Arpaio is a Criminal”

  1. It’s about time this man was brought to justice but I won’t be cheering until this criminal is behind bars.

    Below is link to a conversation with Philippine workers and how they are conned/exploited into coming to USA for work, there is information on how they come with the H2B visa and then wind up undocumented through no fault of theirs.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19518:Empire-Files%3A-Buying-a-Slave—The-Hidden-World-of-US-Philippines-Trafficking

  2. I’ve been to the Philippines. Like Mexico, there is a good manufacturing sector with jobs that have upward mobility and livable wages. The idea that these women have to migrate here to escape poverty, is incorrect. Most electronics factories employ more women than men. And while you can parse it anyway you want illegal aliens are breaking our laws for personal gain. Most of us consider that a criminal act.

    1. “Personal gain” as opposed to what – collective gain? Certainly you’re not advocating socialism?

  3. Governor Bill Clinton ordered his state troopers to target Hispanics. It’s on record. Did you cheer for him ? Did you cheer for his policy to give the homeless a bus ticket out of the state.

    Immoral ? What charges ? Rumors ? Clinton is the king of immorality. Now if you believe the Secret Service stories of frolicking in the WH pool while nude. The nudity was with her rumored college room mate. Bills activities are fact, Hillary’s are unsubstantiated. So don’t be quick to call someone immoral.

    When is Mexico going to improve conditions so the people don’t flee ?

    1. Like who gives a rat’s ass if the immoral Clintons ran up and down 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue en pelotas?

      Ah, but you brought to mind those long-ago days when we, the immoral ones, used to line up on University Avenue to cheer the immoral streakers run. Young and immoral we were. We still are, immoral that is, not young.

  4. Yes Pati we know you do not care if those on the left are immoral we get it. See some of us do believe it doesn’t matter who is breaking the law and what party they are the point is they have broken the law. Believe Apaio will look pretty in pink! See we believe that law should be uniformly applied to all, position, party, power or class should never matter which those like your self believe otherwise when it applies to those you support!

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