Blog & Updates
Congress to Examine Civil Rights implications of 287(g) program
April 01, 2009 - Posted by Katherine Vargas
Photo courtesy of America’s Voice
Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing on the controversial 287(g) program for local enforcement of federal immigration laws. The hearing, titled “The Public Safety and Civil Rights Implications of State and Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws” led by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) comes as a response to a 38,000 petition signatures calling for a federal investigation of Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Arpaio’s infamous immigration enforcement actions.
Sheriff Arpaio has become the country’s most notorious user of the 287(g) program not because of how effective the implementation of the program has been (after all, Maricopa county has the nation's highest number of unserved felony warrants) but because of the reported civil rights violations and racial profiling of the Hispanic community residing in his county. More recently, Sheriff Arpaio has been fighting tooth and nail to defend his participation in a Fox reality channel, as many accuse him of spending precious taxpayer money to feed his appetite for publicity. CBS 5 reports,
You saw him on camera for only two minutes, but it's not Sheriff Joe Arpaio's acting skills that has landed him back on TV. This time, only on CBS 5 News Arpaio's defends his Fox reality show…
Arpaio would not say how much money his office spent supplying volunteer posse members and deputies. "We don't know, because we don't keep track," Arpaio said.
CBS 5 wanted to know what the normal cost to catch a fugitive, compared to catching one on TV? Arpaio says he doesn't know, his office never keeps track of that cost. "Even if we did spend a few bucks what difference does it make," he said. "We did get the bad guys off the street."
Arpaio said about 400 fugitives were caught. That's reason enough for him to consider going Hollywood once again.
"If you don't surrender you might be on the national television," he warned others.
—Arpaio Defends Reality Show, March 30, 2009
Hmm, I don’t know about you but would I rather have my local sheriff chasing after dangerous criminals rather than chasing after Hollywood cameras.
Our friends at America’s Voice will be delivering your suggestions for questions that Congress should ask during tomorrow’s hearing. You can submit your questions at: http://americasvoiceonline.org/AskCongress
You can visit their site for a live blog of the hearing: