Arpaio Says Sweeps Are About Crime, Not Immigration

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"Do not arouse the wrath of this sheriff.”

Yup, that’s direct from the mouth of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

He sent his deputies back out on a two-day crime-suppression sweep this past weekend, even after a federal judge found that prior sweeps were tainted by racial profiling of Hispanics.

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"This operation is geared toward crime, not an illegal immigration operation," Arpaio told KTVK-3TV. The sweep was the first of its kind since a court ruling in October put the Maricopa department under surveillance for civil rights infractions.

The 14-hour operation resulted in 37 arrests, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff.

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The American Civil Liberties Union wasn’t happy about the sweep, and filed a complaint with the court saying they weren’t given enough advance warning.

"We were surprised by it; we had no prior notice," the ACLU’s Dan Pochoda told KTVK-3TV.

Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.

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