Don't Mess With Joe

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I intended to discuss the state of our newspaper industry today, but the weekend was filled with news that is simply impossible to pass up.

In the future we will spend plenty of time discussing exactly what President Barack Obama intends to pursue with his global bailout plan. But I will wait for the details (I know, we’ll be waiting awhile) so as not to jump on any rumors.

Apparently the largest global warming protest in history is taking place in Washington D.C. today in the middle of a snowstorm that could bring a foot of white fluffy powder to coastal communities along the Eastern seaboard in March. We don’t need to touch that one right now, irony has it under control.

Instead the topic that really got me going was a Phoenix protest by 3,000 people upset with the actions of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. If you do not know who the sheriff is the issue of illegal immigrants living in our country is not near to your heart. Arpaio has developed a reputation as being the toughest man in the country when it comes to illegal aliens. His vocal critics include Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Arizona Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. In other words, he’s awesome.

His offenses range from the mundane and silly- all inmates must wear pink boxers, the establishment of his own radio station at the jail specializing in classical music and Frank Sinatra (KJOE), the reintroduction of chain gangs- to more serious matters like the establishment of a “Tent City” where inmates live outside in tents that approach 150 degrees in the hot Phoenix summer. It’s fair to say he’s from the old school.

But what draws the ire of liberals more than anything is his stance on illegal aliens. Arpaio has made his goal in life to disrupt the lives of these people, and why not? No one else in law enforcement seems to care, certainly not the federal government.

Using the Coyote Law, a 2005 measure passed by the Arizona State Legislature making it a felony to smuggle illegal immigrants into the country, Arpaio and his undersheriffs have arrested 262 people, generating over 120 convictions. He has also arrested more than 1,500 people later proven to be illegals under a deal with the government that allows local enforcement of federal statutes. He accomplishes this with targeted raids.

Last month Arpaio took the immigration debate to the next level when he marched 220 illegal immigrants in shackles and striped prison garb through Phoenix under armed guard. "My message is clear: if you come here and I catch you, you're going straight to jail,” Arpaio said recently. “I'm not going to turn these people over to federal authorities so they can have a free ride back to Mexico. I'll give them a free ride to my jail."

The backlash has been strong. Illegal immigration proponents are the most hypocritical people in the world today, no easy task considering the current state of our country. Not only do they want to have their cake and eat it to, but when they are done they will steal mine and give it to someone who just crossed over from Mexico.

Opponents of Arpaio have accused him targeting raids in predominately Latino neighborhoods in search of illegal immigrants. They say he is racial profiling. Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m looking for a cucumber, I’m not going to search an orange grove for it.

This one quote in particular is a shining example of the thought process on this issue:

“Walking people through the streets in chains, public shaming, it's medieval," said Veronica Perez, 32, an archeologist that according to Reuters carried signs Sunday that read "No Human Is Illegal" and "Stop the Raids."

No human is illegal? Really Ms. Perez? Don’t get me wrong, I understand why these people are fighting so strongly on the issue of illegal immigration. They want a majority in our country. They want to take over. And you know what? If they do that legally, and enter the United States like my ancestors did 170 years ago, all the power to them. But if you break the law to do it, you are a criminal.

"Isn't cruel and unusual punishment against the U.S. Constitution?" she asked.

Disregarding the legalities of illegal immigrants using the Constitution for protection, how is forcing people who have broken the law, who have propensity for committing violent crimes that harm the law-abiding people of this country, to march through a City in shame cruel or unusual? If anything, it is appropriate.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (WAF really needs to have its own network), rallied the protestors Sunday by pleading for Arpaio’s raids to end, saying Arizona didn’t need a “Bull Connors.”

Connors is the notorious segregationist that turned fire hoses and police dogs on demonstrators in Birmingham during the Civil Rights movement. Illegal immigration advocates love to sync their cause with blacks from the mid-20th century, ignoring that the crime African-Americans perpetrated on racists was the color of their skin. They play the race card by trying to convince us that there is no difference between Latino persons here legally and those that do not bother to follow the rules. It’s among the most offensive of their ridiculous rhetoric.

Don’t believe me?

In an effort to encourage people to attend the protest the above network sent out e-mails claiming: "And last week, the nation witnessed the ritual humiliation of migrants in a spectacle evocative of some of the most horrific episodes of human history."

Spare me. Spare us.

Obama knows he cannot touch this issue with a ten-foot pole. With his sights set firmly on socializing the country he cannot afford a misstep on an issue that firmly divides most of the Democrats with the loony fringe of the party.

So we are left hoping that people like Arpaio do the job they are elected to do, and enforce the law. He is a rare breed that deserves all the support he can get.

Go Joe!

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