ACLU Warns Trump: Pardoning Arpaio Would Be ‘Presidential Endorsement of Racism’

By Susan Jones | August 15, 2017 | 7:41am EDT
Then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks at the Republican National Convention in July 2017. He was voted out of office in November. (Screen grab from YouTube)

(CNSNews.com) – If President Trump pardons former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, it “would be an official presidential endorsement of racism,” the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday.

Arpaio, now 85 years old, is famous for his tough stand on illegal immigration. He was convicted two weeks ago of criminal contempt for violating a court order instructing him to stop detaining people suspected of being in the country illegally.

Fox News interviewed Trump on Sunday at his club in Bedminster, N.J.

“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Fox quoted the president as saying. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot, and I hate to see what has happened to him.”

Trump reportedly said the pardon could happen in the next few days.

On Tuesday morning, Trumped retweeted the Fox News “exclusive,” which read: “President Trump 'seriously considering' a pardon for ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”

 

ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang issued a statement, warning Trump not to do it:

“President Trump would be literally pardoning Joe Arpaio’s flagrant violation of federal court orders that prohibited the illegal detention of Latinos. He would undo a conviction secured by his own career attorneys at the Justice Department,” Wang said.

“Make no mistake: This would be an official presidential endorsement of racism.”

Arpaio stumped for Donald Trump during the campaign and spoke on Trump’s behalf at the Republican National Convention in July 2016. “We are more concerned with the rights of illegal aliens and criminals than we are with protecting our own country,” Arpaio said at the time. “That must change.”

The crowd responded with chants of “Build the wall.”

In March 2009, the Obama Justice Department opened an investigation of Arpaio's office for allegedly discriminating against people who came to the country illegally.

In December 2011, the Obama Justice Department found that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office "engaged in a policy of stopping, detaining, and investigating persons of Hispanic ancestry based on their race, in traffic and during worksite raids; failed to provide language access assistance to Hispanic jail inmates with Limited English Proficiency; and unlawfully retaliated against individuals who complained about or criticized MCSO’s practices."

Various lawsuits ensued, and in October 2013, a federal court in Arizona issued an injunction, ordering Arpaio's office to change its law enforcement practices. The court also appointed an independent monitor to oversee implementation of the injunction.

This past July, a federal court  found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt for defying the court order to stop profiling Latinos in Maricopa County.

The former sheriff faces six months in jail when he’s sentenced in October.

CNSNews Reader,

The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNSNews covers the stories that the liberal media are afraid to touch. It drives the national debate through real, honest journalism—not by misrepresenting or ignoring the facts.

CNSNews has emerged as the conservative media’s lynchpin for original reporting, investigative reporting, and breaking news. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical mission and we need your help to fuel this fight.

Donate today to help CNSNews continue to report on topics that the liberal media refuse to touch. $25 a month goes a long way in the fight for a free and fair media.

And now, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you can make up to a $300 gift to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of your choice and use it as a tax deduction on your 2020 taxes, even if you take the standard deduction on your returns.

— The CNSNews Team

DONATE

Connect

Sign up for our CNSNews Daily Newsletter to receive the latest news.