“I already have a concentration camp. It’s called Tent City.” said Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2008 in regards to his seven acre outdoor jail in Phoenix, Arizona. Tent city opened in 1993 and was intended to be temporary. The purpose was to assist with overflow issues in the surrounding facilities. A band-aid, a quick fix. Which possibly explains the almost hectic scrambling that the structure of Tent City reeks of. From the utilization of Korean-War era tents to the solely pink underwear issued to inmates to forcing inmates to watch cooking shows while eating their 2 meatless meals a day. This could only be a place holder, right? Yet it remained open for 23 years.
As if the inhumane and unusual treatment of inmates was not enough Arpaio refused to transfer people to I.C.E for up to 2 years. Maricopa County Sheriff Office lost the right to enforce immigration law but this did not stop Arpaio from organizing a right wing militia group to be the watch dogs of the border and round up those they believe looked “illegal” and take them to tent city to work in chain gangs. In June of 2017 Joe Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court. He found himself in this position due to his refusal to obey a federal judge’s order to stop racial profiling in detaining “individuals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally”.
However, on August 25, 2017, only 2 months after his conviction, Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio of his crime. Now that the weight of those pesky crimes against humanity have been lifted off of his shoulders by Trump, Arpaio is a free man. The St. Louis G.O.P could think of no better representation of their values than Joe Arpaio, and they have thus invited him to be the keynote speaker at their annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner this year. The St. Louis branch of the APL plans to protest the event and show that Trump may pardon Arpaio, but the people do not.
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Categories: Immigration, U.S. News