Critics renew calls for Arpaio to resign

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by Frank Camacho

azfamily.com

Posted on December 26, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 26 at 7:21 PM

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was the subject of a scathing report from the U.S. Justice Department followed by a potentially devastating opinion from a federal judge. These actions affirm what many of Arpaio's critics have been saying for years -- that the Sheriff's illegal immigration policies violate the U.S. Constitution. 

Phoenix attorney and Latino activist Daniel Ortega says protection under the U.S. Constitution extends to everyone in the United States, even those who are here illegally.  Ortega and other activist say that a recent 40-page opinion authored by U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow affirms this position. 

The judges order also prohibits Arpaio's office from enforcing federal civil immigration law. Attorney Antonio Bustamante says that is significant because being in the United States illegally is a civil offense.

Bustamante and Ortega are just two of several Latino leaders who again called on Sheriff Joe Arpaio to resign. 

Arpaio was unavailable for comment while he is in Iowa campaigning for Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Perry, however, last week he said he would not resign. 

"You know who's going to remove me? The voters. They decide if they want the Sheriff", Arpaio said during a recent interview. 

Arpaio says he will continue to aggressively enforce laws against illegal immigration.  If he uses the same measures in the future as he as done in the past, his critics say he runs the risk of running afoul of the courts, the federal government, and eventually, the voters. 

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