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The Next America - Immigration 2012 / Immigration

Feds Sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

photo of Stephanie Czekalinski
May 11, 2012

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a civil lawsuit against Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio alleging that deputies on his immigration patrols racially profiled Latinos in violation of civil-rights law, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

The department sued after months of negotiations failed to reach a settlement over the allegations of racial profiling, according to AP.

At issue was federal officials' insistence that Arpaio allow a court-appointed monitor for the department.


Arpaio resisted, arguing that it would undermine his authority.

"I'm not going to surrender my office to the federal government," he said, during a press conference Thursday. "I will fight this to the bitter end."

Arpaio was reportedly visibly angry at the press conference, at one point pounding his fist on the podium.

A federal judge will now decide the dispute, according to the AP.

The lawsuit contains disturbing details, including the use of ethnic slurs by jail employees and the indiscriminate detention of Latinos during immigration raids, according to The Huffington Post.

The Atlantic provides a link to the complaint itself.

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