Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio has to go through training on how to avoid racial profiling and unlawful detention, a federal judge in Phoenix ordered Oct. 29.
District Judge G. Murray Snow, who in 2013 ruled that Arpaio had violated Latino drivers’ constitutional rights by having Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies stop Mexican-looking motorists in order to catch possible illegal immigrants, said the sheriff was undermining efforts to get his department to comply with that decision. In it, Judge Snow had held that simply being in the country without authorization is not illegal without “reasonable suspicion” that they entered or stayed illegally, and that “to the extent it uses race as a factor in arriving at reasonable suspicion or forming probable cause to stop or investigate persons of Latino ancestry for being in the country without authorization,” Arpaio’s policy violated the Fourth Amendment and the right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
He prohibited the department from using race as a criterion for making stops and from “lengthening” stops without probable cause in order to look for immigration violations. Arpaio, who in 2008 staged a series of “saturation raids” in the small town of Guadalupe in which hundreds of people were stopped for questioning about their immigration status, told the Associated Press in September that “with the same circumstances, I’d do it all over again.” “I think he’s completely undoing what the MCSO is spending a great deal of time in building,” Judge Snow said. Similar raids in the Phoenix area made the sheriff an icon of the anti-immigrant movement, but they also spawned numerous lawsuits, including the 2007 class-action suit that Judge Snow ruled on. Arpaio’s lawyer, Tim Casey, argued that the sheriff’s statements were his First Amendment right and not relevant to his official duties.
Cecillia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, responded that Arpaio should be held in contempt if he continues such behavior. “He needs to know that there will be consequences for his actions,” she said after the hearing. The raids were carried out under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act. The Department of Homeland Security authorized the Maricopa County sheriff’s office to enforce it under Section 287(g), which lets local law enforcement arrest people for immigration violations, and both agencies drew up guidelines that officers should “consider race or ‘Mexican ancestry’ as one factor among others.'” That authorization was later revoked, but the department continued the saturaton patrols. The training Arpaio will have to go through is the same as that Judge Snow ordered for his deputies in 2013.