What planet do the lawyers for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio live on? In a 23-page response to a federal lawsuit that alleges the racial profiling and discrimination of US Latino citizens, Arpaio's lawyers offer the following argument as one of the reasons why the lawsuit should be dismissed:
PLAINTIFFS' CLAIMS BASED ON LANGUAGE DISCRIMINATION MUST BE DISMISSED FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM OF NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION UNDER TITLE VI
Section 601 of Title VI prohibits intentional discrimination "on the ground of race, color, or national origin." But the Forth Claim for Relief, and part of the Fifth Claim for Relief, do not rely on those prohibited grounds of discrimination. Instead, the claims rely on allegations that Defendants violated Title VI by not providing adequate Spanish language-assistance to "limited English proficient (LEP) Latino prisoners." Plaintiff confuses the "national origin" with language proficiency, and consequently, the claim must be dismissed…
Whereas "national origin" refers to a person's birthplace or ancestry, language proficiency refers to the ability to understand and covey a specific set of words and phrases.
Although Plaintiff goes to great length to categorize the prisoners as "Latino limited English proficient" prisoners, its allegations clearly and unequivocally focus on providing language assistance to Spanish-speaking prisoners, not simply to those Spanish-speaking prisoners who happen to be Latinos….
The section of the argument concludes by saying that language proficiency is not a category that is protected by civil rights or discrimination laws. Hence, we ask: what planet do Arpaio's lawyers live on? Speaking Spanish does not fall under discrimination laws? So, with that logic, someone's civil rights CAN be violated because Spanish and English language proficiency are not protected? This is the argument being brought out? Sad.
In the meantime, the Phoenix New Times said it best when it wrote:
Meanwhile, the other hundred-plus allegations against Arpaio and MCSO don't have to do with English proficiency, and neither do the five other sections for response put together by Arpaio's team of lawyers.
Still, it somewhat answers the question of how can you possibility defend yourself against this?
Here is the full document filed by the lawyers (and yes, there is a Rodney King reference! Really?):