Arpaio's Comeuppance Continues

As I wrote last month, this country’s innate sense of justice and humanity will one day revolt against the ever-harsher tactics that some states are deploying to bring undocumented workers to heel for failing to obtain the papers that Uncle Sam won’t give them. And when it comes to America’s most notorious sheriff and “illegal immigrant” baiter, Joe Arpaio, this is already happening as Lucy Steigerwald noted recently.

The Justice Department has already documented the reign of terror that Arpaio has unleashed against the Hispanic community in Arizona’s Maricopa County. And now adding to Arpaio’s woes is Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, whose case initially drew national attention to Arpaio’s tactics. She was shackled before and after delivery and  managed to escape her chains during her C-section only because a detention officer took pity on her and removed her leg restraint. She has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Arpaio.

But Miriam is hardly the only pregnant undocumented worker who has been subjected to Arpaio’s tender mercies. As Stephen Lemon of the Phoenix New Times points out:

[S]uch atrocities are only new to the world outside Arizona. Inside this state, the MCSO's penchant for shackling pregnant women is well-known to Arpaio-watchers.

My colleague Valeria Fernandez documented a far worse case in a 2009 article for New Times. 

In 2008, Alma Chacon was chained by her hands and feet to a hospital bed while in MCSO custody. You can read Chacon's story in full, here.

Shackling pregnant women is contrary to the policies of the Arizona Department of Corrections, ICE, the U.S. Marshal's Service, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, etc.

As Lucy noted, Arpaio has already cost Maricopa County $5 million in lawsuit settlements (with another $177 million filed by various and sundry). And Miriam's lawsuit suggests that the new year is not likely to bring him any relief. 

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  • ||

    I detect a little more than the usual amount of grit in this article, Shikha.

    Take it to the bastards.

  • CalebT||

    To be fair, the tactics did make Arpaio popular, and isn't that what counts?

  • Paul||

    ...all while maricopa residents prepare to pull the lever for sheriff joe again...and again...and again...and again...

    I will never understand the voting habits of my fellow americans.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It really, really helps if you disassociate yourself from the country. Stop using inclusive pronouns like "we" "us" and "our" to describe the United States, and you can watch the whole thing unfold as a grand tragicomedy.

  • JohnD||

    Because you are a fool

  • ||

    "The Justice Department has already documented"

    You mean the 'justice' department that has illegally sold guns that have been used in the murder of 300+ people?

    The 'justice' department that has declared that no 'person of color' could ever, ever, ever commit any racial crime or threaten voters?

    The 'justice' department that is allied with an organization whose name translates as 'The Race'?

    The 'justice' department that is encouraging identity fraud, tax evasion and other criminal activities by illegals?

    Please call me when a credible source is found for the so-called 'reign of terror'

  • ||

    citation please

  • ||

    you don't read the news or much of anything else i guess???

  • Suki||

    "The Justice Department has already documented"

    How do they document the undocumented?

  • ||

    Do imaginary people need a visa? Or is an imaginary visa sufficient?

  • Paul||

    Deport the mall?

  • This Dave||

    The same Justice Department that is now trying to block ArIzona's law to check that voters are actually eligible to vote in elections? The one that's doing it so that the Democratic party can use illegal alien votes to help rig elections? EVERYONE knows that's what they're doing, right? NOBODY thinks they're doing it for a different reason, right? I hope everyone is happy when illegals are used to rig elections for the Democrats and the whole country is run like Chicago. Won't that be so cute and funny?

  • o3||

    "The one that's doing it so that the Democratic party can use illegal alien votes to help rig elections?"

    PROVE voter fraud w actual statisitcs NOT radio entertainment. PROVE IT

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Your translator is broken; it's Gotta Catch 'Em All.

  • Fake White Indian||

    Yes, let's deport all those palefaces who illegally occupy the U.S.

  • ||

    And what palefaces are those?
    First if there are any, they would be about 350 to 400 years old, which means deporting them would be of a secondary interest.
    Second, what do you mean "illegally"?
    I just read a book, "Empire of the Summer Moon" about the comanches.
    They expanded their empire by invading and killing neighboring tribes in a more ruthless, cruel manner than the pale face did.
    So considering human history, the invasion of Indian,excuse me, native american lands was not illegal. It was the way people acted back then.

  • ||

    Are you Burt Reynolds?
    His mother was half, or maybe all, Cherokee.
    Point, you can be a white Indian, or not all white Indians are fake.

  • Suki||

    undocumented worker

    She did not fill out her time card?

  • Paul||

    "undocumented worker"

    "She did not fill out her time card?"

    No, the IRS can't positively identify a pocket to reach into.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Worse, she forgot to put a cover sheet on the TPS report.

  • ||

    That's why the bitch's office is in the basement now.

  • wingnutx||

    Not sure this has any bearing on the matter at hand, but Steve Lemons is a complete prick.

  • Suki||

  • ||

    That's a shame. He wouldn't of needlessly died if we had free borders and no drug war.

  • Paul||

    Brown jobs!

  • fawful||

    The irony is that the illegal aliens libertarians love so well have little affection for libertarian politics.

    This isn't surprising, considering the overwhelming majority of these aliens use welfare, (in Texas, its 70% compared to 35% of native-born Americans). Of course they also benefit from affirmative-action policies (disguised as "disparate impact" legislation) which mandate discrimination against whites and Asians in favor of non-Asian minorities.

  • The Derider||

    Did you read this in Ron Paul's newsletter?

  • fawful||

    No. The website ate my link, but the data is here.

  • jasno||

    From the link:

    We should note that the study takes an expansive view of what constitutes a government welfare program, so programs such as reduced-price school lunches for low-income students are classified as welfare, according to CIS’ methodology.
  • This Dave||

    As someone who works with a lot of our neighbors from the South, I can tell you that their worldview is probably closest to Big Government cultural conservatism, certainly not libertarianism. Democrats who want to use waves of Mexicans in their favor may find themselves surprised in the way they were by black voters who ended gay marriage in CA. But they'll sure as hell vote for more and more of the entitlements which will be our undoing.
    I'm all for a guest worker program, but I'll never understand libertarians who treat it as none of the government's business who crosses our borders. Last time I checked, that was one of the few legitimate functions of an appropriately limited government.

  • Fluffy||

    Your guess about the future political opinions of a person (or their descendants...their fucking descendants) really has no bearing on the question of whether we are obligated to treat that person justly.

    If we're going to start basing citizenship on your political opinions, then let's get some guns together and declare all Gingrich supporters non-citizens, and chase them the fuck out like this is Palestine in 1948.

  • Robert S||

    Just to be clear Fluffy, Libertarians are not merely advocating that we treat illegal immigrants justly, you're advocating that our immigration laws (really ALL our laws) are wrong and thus should simply be ignored. You are anarchists.

  • ||

    Robert S, 1855:

    Just to be clear Fluffy, Libertarians are not merely advocating that we treat illegal immigrants fugitive slaves justly, you're advocating that our immigration fugitive slave laws (really ALL our laws) are wrong and thus should simply be ignored. You are anarchists.
  • BD||

    This is one among many reasons I've decided that the only proper response to a libertarian, on any topic, is to hit them in the face as hard as you can, and keep hitting them until they stop moving.

  • ||

    Sounds about right for an Arpaio supporter. "You have rights as long as you have white skin and agree with me. Otherwise, I shall play out my torture porn fantasies disguised as legitimate law enforcement. You'd look good in pink, boy."

  • ocogenesis||

    On the Internet, nobody knows you have stick figure arms and a micropenis. Rock on, Internet tuff gai.

  • Robert S||

    Dave I've been coming here for awhile so let me help you...

    Progressive is to Liberal


    Libertarian is to Anarchist

  • Abdul||

    No, the real irony is that if John Stagliano made a porn flick with shackled pregnant women, libertarians would support him. But sherrif Joe does it, and suddenly they're all against it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No, the real irony is that if John Stagliano made a porn flick with shackled pregnant women, libertarians would support him. But sherrif Joe does it, and suddenly they're all against it.

    Consent makes a big difference.

  • Abdul||

    Consent and skillful camera work.

  • jasno||

    It's all about the money shot.

  • Robert S||

    Of course most of the time that consent is being fueled by a raging coke addiction, so...

  • Joe M||

    Wow, looks like the Arpaiborgs are out in force.

  • MJ||

    "Shackling pregnant women is contrary to the policies of the Arizona Department of Corrections, ICE, the U.S. Marshal's Service, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, etc."

    Shackling pregnant women may be contrary to policy, and it is definitely arguable that it is excessive (depending how deep into the pregnancy the woman is), but that does not make it a civil rights violation. By focusing on pregnant women we ar getting an appeal to emotion again in the service of making excuses for illegal immigrants. It shows the weakness of Dalmia's ability to make a case.

  • Fluffy||

    You're aware that BY DEFINITION anyone Joe has in custody for an immigration violation has not yet been convicted, right?

    Because if they had been convicted, they'd be in Mexico.

    Every last act Sheriff Joe takes against any person he's holding because he suspects an immigration violation is being committed against a person who has not yet been convicted in a court of law.

    That's what you're defending.

    The whole fucking Arpaio circus of punishment and humiliation is directed at people who have not yet been processed by the court system. That means some non-zero number of the people his deputies shackle, beat, expose to the elements, put on chain gangs, force to cross-dress, etc. are people who have not been convicted of and will never be convicted of any criminal charge.

    That's what you're defending.

  • MJ||

    Dalmia's post implies that it is a civil rights violation because she was pregnant. I was saying this case is not a civil rights violation on THAT basis.

  • invisible furry hand||

    Did he shackle together the legs of a woman giving birth naturally? No? See, he's a humanitarian.

  • L13||

    "this country’s innate sense of justice and humanity " Well phrased!

    It is only this flicker of hope that there are a few others out there who still see America as imperfect but full of possibilities that keep me from complete despair.

    Thank you Shikha

  • Robert S||

    Which is why you're desperate for open borders, a policy that will destroy the America that is so full of possibilities.

    You fucking stooge.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Another person who hasn't served in combat assures us that war is an awful thing, and that no true Scotsman would oppose America's rampant adventurism:

    What Ron Paul Thinks of America

    The Paul comment here is worth more than a passing look. It sums up much we have already heard from him. It's the voice of that ideological school whose central doctrine is the proposition that the U.S. is the main cause of misery and terror in the world. The school, for instance, of Barack Obama's former minister famed for his "God d— America" sermons: the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, for whom, as for Dr. Paul, the 9/11 terror assault was only a case of victims seeking justice, of "America's chickens coming home to roost."

    That's right, folks! Dr Paul = Jeremiah Wright and Obama. Hey, maybe that's why she didn't mention the Newsletters.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Excuse me... assures us war is a wonderful thing.

  • ||

    Sounds like what slapdick was spewing yesterday. He's just another idiot who thinks blowing other countries up is cool just like in CoD.

    It's fucking disgusting that a bunch of 30-40 something's on both the left and right are so eager to see thousands of 19 year olds come home dismembered and made a spectacle in the name of "American interests abroad".

  • anarch||

    But Miriam is...

    On what basis do we refer to, and/or address strangers by their first names vs. their last names preceded by an honorific? I'd thought such informality connoted the opinion they have been receiving too much respect - eg misbehaving presidents - but here maybe it's meant to show solidarity. I can't keep up.

  • Jason Godesky||

    "this country’s innate sense of justice and humanity will one day revolt against the ever-harsher tactics that some states are deploying to bring undocumented workers to heel for failing to obtain the papers that Uncle Sam won’t give them. "

    I desperately want you to get cancer for this mendacious stupidity.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What's the matter, Godesky? Afraid the "brown horde" is going to cut down all your precious trees?

  • invisible furry hand||

    Are you sure it's the real one? There are no gratuitous:
    - capital letters
    - slabs of text not his own and appeals to authoritah
    - libtard references
    - use of the G-word.

    I smell a rat. Which I shall now catch, kill, and slowly cook till it's tender.

  • ||

    Is anyone else getting the banner ad on the right? I assume it was triggered by the immigration references in the story, but still seems odd.

  • Brittanicus||

    Today, over 1 million immigrants enter our country legally per year, while the illegal alien population grows by about 500,000 per year that are not apprehended. The border region still remains an anomaly, as Democrats as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declare ‘that it’s more secure”. Tell that to the ranchers and land owners along the Southern border. Sometime soon there is going to be a mass carnage on the border, and then only the Democrats will bear the blame? More than ever before we need a military presence as the drug Cartels have moved their elicit business ventures within our nation. The original strength of the fence has been weakened, and no more is it more observable in Arizona. Hundreds of miles remain open to drug criminals and terrorists that is in its self a National Security issue.

    However, these United States does and always has welcomed—LEGAL IMMIGRANTS—and always will. The 50 states also welcome highly skilled workers who are educated in the Sciences, Engineering and technology. These Immigrants will never end up in the welfare lines and taking taxpayer dollars. Nobody has ever communicated that outstanding professionally people, who would be beneficial to America’s businesses not be allowed to immigrate here; we just need an expedited procedure? Nevertheless this country must restrain the poverty from other countries, as we cannot even look after our own people who have insufficient food and thousands who remain homeless.

    Since the public visibility of Arizona fighting to sustain its own legal residents with welfare and subsidiary programs, it has been verbally attacked by the Obama administration and the radical open border special interests. Not stopping there the heavy infiltrated leftist groups in the Dept of IN-Justice has also assaulted the States of Alabama, Georgia, Utah, and South Carolina to intimidate them into rescinding policing policies by the force of the courts. Not satisfied with the harassment on the sovereignty of these different States, they have now trying to enfeeble highly regarded citizens as Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpiao, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Former Congressman Tom Tancredo or anybody that does not conform to their assessment of the immigration laws. None of these policing policies would have been relevant if the US Government had enforced the immigration laws of 1986 and 1974.

    Don’t sit around any longer but contact your Senator and House Representative starting tomorrow at 202-224-3121. Every unenthusiastic politician must be harassed, so this bill that only needs 28 more sponsors can be read and placed in the House for voting upon. Tell them you want them to vote for Lamar Smith's sponsorship of ‘The Legal Workforce Act’, this will ensure that illegal immigrants cannot be hired anymore, amid ruthless punishment for business that continue to mock this newly revised mandatory law. Start calling Congress because it might be your job on the line, as an estimated 8 million unauthorized workers are filling jobs right now. African Americans are having a terrible time locating good jobs, with national unemployment hovering around 9 percent and black males unemployment surging to a staggering 17.6 percent, followed closely by Hispanics at around 13.1%. Only NumbersUSA has the truth on illegal immigration and the corruption that is Washington.

    According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 200,000 total jobs have been added to our economy over the past 12 months. Yet, the federal government imported another 1 million new foreign workers, while Congress stood by and did nothing. As 2011 comes to an end, it's another year that the feds have turned their backs on unemployed Americans by not making immigration a jobs issue.

    ATTN: Keep pressing for the Keystone Pipeline, with less reliant on foreign countries that hate us and responsible prices for America and 20.000 jobs. Don’t let the environmentalists win this issue as we need a stable economy, unknown the far left who keep on spending.


  • ||

    If Washington continues to ignore the problems inherent in illegal immigration you will continue to see state and local authorities respond in various ways to the problems they encounter, ranging from enforcement, harsh or otherwise, to pretending the problem doesn't exist. The result is an inevitable mishmash of incoherence and contradiction as people try to deal with the problem. The problem starts in Washington and it can only be fixed by Washington. Going after those with whom Washington is displeased without correcting the cause of the problem is an abandonment of responsibility. What the author suggests will fix nothing, merely continue the mess.


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