Mayor compares Arpaio to sheriff from South in 1960s

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Another feud between mayor and sheriff

PHOENIX - The war of words between Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio escalated on Friday.

Gordon compared Arpaio to racist sheriffs who persecuted blacks in the South during the 1960s and an angry Arpaio quickly responded.

The two have been feuding over the sheriff's controversial crackdown on illegal immigration. Arpaio is under a federal investigation for alleged racial profiling which has targeted Hispanics regardless of citizenship status.

Both the mayor and sheriff are strong-willed, passionate politicians who strongly disagree with one another over illegal immigration. Gordon favors reform of the nation's immigration policy in lieu of the sheriffs well-publicized immigration sweeps which opponents say has led to racial profiling.

Gordon says Arpaio is not using dogs or hoses but he is targeting people of color. That drew the following response from Arpaio. "I'm an equal opportunity enforcement guy. I lock them all up so that's garbage. He seems to get all his information from his open border activist friends."

Arpaio defends his use of the 287g agreement he has with federal authorities which allows him to enforce immigration laws. He says his deputies have taken more than 25,000 illegal immigrants off the streets.

Gordon is confident the federal investigation will curtail Arpaio's activities. He says, "I think it's a great sign. Arizona stood for, which is, we don't discriminate. We are a melting pot."< /p>

Ironically, Arpaio agrees with Gordon that the federal investigation is a good thing but for different reasons. The sheriff has no doubt the probe will vindicate him and his deputies.