Arizona Latinos: Arpaio Should Not Be Pardoned

Sheriff Joe Arpaio at a rally for Donald Trump at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Gage Skidmore/This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution- Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

In Arizona, the community is organizing to protest against President Trump’s Tuesday Phoenix rally and respond to the possible pardon of former Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The counter-protest will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center, where Trump will be talking with supporters.

During a press call on Monday morning that shared more details about the counter-protest, Democratic congressman Raúl Grijalva disapproved of Mr. Trump’s consideration to pardon Arpaio: “This is a combination to what is already a very careless and dangerous path, which this country is going under Trump.”

Last week, President Trump said he is “seriously considering” pardoning Arpaio. The former sheriff is guilty for ignoring what Judge G. Murray Snow had ruled back in 2011 to prohibit Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office “from detaining persons for further investigation without reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed.” He could face up to six months in jail.

Noemi Romero was a victim of Arpaio’s anti-immigrant agenda. She was arrested in 2013 at a supermarket and detained for 60 days. She was in risk of being deported. Puente Arizona, a non-profit immigration organization, was able to defend her.

“Someone like Arpaio who has harmed many families and caused so much trauma should not be pardoned. Victims like me should be pardoned,” Romero said during the press call.

Romero was not able to benefit from DACA because of her arrest record.

Puente Arizona and Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) are planning to be at the Tuesday rally at the Phoenix Convention Center. They will be protesting and encouraging others to stand against Trump.

If President Trump decides to pardon Arpaio, it “means he is now rubber stamping and standing by everything that Arpaio has done,” executive director of Puente Arizona Carlos Garcia said at the press call.

When asked what kind of positive message Trump can give during the rally, Alejandra Garcia, co-director of LUCHA said “the positive message is going to come from our community celebrating we are together fighting back every single piece of legislation and executive order that this president has been threatening with since the beginning.”

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María Camila Montañez is a journalism student at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s Spanish-language program. She is originally from Colombia and tweets from @mariacmontanez.

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