Sheriff Joe Separates Mothers from Their Children

Jill Garvey • Jan 18, 2009

Sheriff Joe Arpaio finds any excuse to separate families. It’s 2009 and the terrorizing continues in Arizona’s Maricopa County. A community organizer last week documented a heartbreaking scene of a mother, Ciria Lopez, being stopped by Sheriff’s Joe’s self-proclaimed “posse”. She was arrested for an unpaid traffic ticket and driven away while her two young children sat crying in the backseat. The sheriff’s deputies left behind a stuffed animal while apparently explaining that their mother was going back to Mexico.

According to the Huffington Post, a judge cleared Lopez of any charges after she paid the ticket in court on Friday. Sheriff Joe continues to detain her though according to his 287(g) agreement with ICE.

This is the ugly side of Sheriff Arpaio’s operation that you won’t see on his new Fox reality show. In a case of bigotry united, Arpaio and the Fox network have teamed up to bring America’s Bull Connor incarnate into mainstream households. What they won’t show is Arpaio’s racial profiling and military-style “sweeps” through Latino neighborhoods. With 2,700 lawsuits against Maricopa County since 2004 as a result of Arpaio’s purposely squalid prisons, Sheriff Joe’s inhumanity is well-documented.

Arpaio is not unique. Our nation has seen many tyrants like Arpaio attempt to divide us. The American people may disagree on many issues, but one thing that Americans can agree on is the need to keep families together. Arpaio may not be new, but our response to his unchecked oppression must be renewed. Before more children are traumatized, Arpaio must be stopped.

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