Activists Laud Justice Dept. for Investigating Sheriff

Controversial Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio is being investigated by the Department of Justice, Arizona media reported this morning (and I just confirmed). Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, has garnered national renown for his tough enforcement of immigration laws and, as activist groups have become more concerned with his activities, he has come to signify a brewing immigration controversy--the first under President Obama's new administration.

Coincidentally, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), along with the leaders of several activist groups and a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, were scheduled to hold a rally today at the Capitol calling for Arpaio to be investigated (they were to present a petition to that effect that had gathered over 35,000 signatures). They'll still hold the rally, intending to demonstrate community support for the investigation.

And they're pretty happy about the DoJ's decision:"It's very unlikely under the Bush administration that this would have happened," Paco Fabian, communications director for immigration-focused group America's Voice and an organizer of today's rally, told me. "We welcome the news that this is happening."

Beyond the investigation, activist groups like America's Voice want a review of agreements between the Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcers that federal immigration laws can be enforced at the local level--a policy Arpaio reportedly uses in his office, and one that some activists don't like. It will be up to the Obama administration to review that policy.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Politics

Just In