I received an urgent call this morning from someone reporting that Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff was executing a warrant at a workplace raid at the Days Inn on 7th Avenue & Camelback Rd. in Phoenix, AZ.
When I arrived I saw the familiar sheriff’s vehicles there. The mainstream media was there as well. The usual activists including Lydia Guzman was present granting her interviews to the Spanish language media. The usual garbage, preaching to the choir. Nothing new to say. You often see the same old tired faces spewing their usual nonsensical rhetoric and boring analysis of the Sheriff’s raid.
Univision tried to get Joe Arpaio to cough up information about the Obama administration’s new policy and procedure regarding prosecutorial discretion and the case by case scrutiny of the more than 300,000 detainees suspected of being in the country unlawfully. He bit his upper lip and refused to answer their question. It doesn’t matter, it would have probably been edited out by the producers or the reporter himself. When the initial story broke about the Obama administration’s change in Immigration policy, the Univision reporter did a terrible job in covering the story fairly, completely ignoring anyone supportive of the policy. Instead he focused on pessimistic Latinos who said President Obama wasn’t doing enough.
I was able to coax Arpaio in to responding to the question. It’s all in how you phrase it right? Imagine that, and I’m just a little old radio talk show host and political analyst.
Well according to what “Sheriff Joe” told me, he was looking for ten people accused of identity theft who were working at the hotel. He shared with me that they had not updated their intelligence and thought that all the employees were in full work mode when they arrived at around 8:00 AM. It turns out that because of cutbacks in hours based on the pitiful economy, they had been asked to report at 10:00 AM. Oops! misfire! Joe was only able to capture one housekeeper accused of being in the country unlawfully and usurping someone else’s identity. Wow! once again, thousands of dollars spent to capture one, or a handful of low skilled labor. Not exactly how I want my tax dollars spent.
I will note that Arpaio plans on trying to locate the AWOL employees at their homes. This is his M.O. for workplace raids. If he doesn’t locate them there, he goes to their homes. Normally they will even pursue ex-employees, if, after seizing the workplace records, they determine that previous employees were possibly using false identities.
An interesting note on this raid, is the comments that Joe Arpaio shared with me and which the mainstream media missed, was the fact that according to his investigation, this may be a good case for prosecution under the existing employer sanction law that was passed in 2007 by the legislature and that until a couple of months ago was tied up in the Supreme Court. SCOTUS upheld the employer sanction law paving the way for possible civil prosecution of employers. Something that many employers have feared since the law went into effect. We haven’t seen these employers push for immigration reform, they just invested thousands of dollars into fighting the law to avoid possible sanctions.
Could this possibly be a change in Arpaio’s strategy? Pursuing employers? I doubt it! After all these are the same people that sponsor his campaigns when reelection rolls around.
Oh, and talking about reelection, I asked Arpaio if he was preparing himself for a 2012 run for Sheriff. He was quick to correct me. “For sheriff he asked?”, “Why not for the U.S. Senate?”, “I’ve been asked to run you know?” I laughed and said “OK”, Arpaio quickly came back with ” well, either way, if I don’t run for the senate, I’ll definitely run for sheriff again.”
I do have to point out that Arpaio lashed out at me when he first saw me, stating, “I’m not happy with you”, “I saw you talking about me on TV.” “You’re getting involved in politics now” he quipped. I laughed and just shook my head. Poor guy, he forgets from one day to the next what’s going on around him. After all, I’m a radio talk show host and political analyst, that my job for God’s sake!
As he got into his brand new Chrysler Joe shouted, “hey, do you anyone that can get me a good deal on a 300?” Referring to the Chrysler 300 he used to be chauffeured in by his favorite deputies.
“Nope, I yelled, besides that, you might check their legal status knowing you.” He responded with a chuckle, “yeah, they might drive off with my car”, and off he went to chase more cooks, car washers, landscapers, housekeepers, bread makers, butchers, did I miss any of his recent raids?
Thousands of dollars spent, to chase that labor force that Arizona desperately needs, hired by hypocritical employers that hold a double standard.
Carlos E. Galindo is a radio talk show host & political analyst conducting radio shows in both English and Spanish on four radio stations in Arizona. Mr. Galindo is a weekly contributor to KPFK 98.7 FM Los Angeles and has appeared on CNN, Univision and Telemundo as a political analyst. Mr. Galindo is also an Op-Ed columnist on Prensa Hispana and the Tucson Citizen. Arizona. www.nospinonair.com/http://www.carlosgalindo.com
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