Latino Leaders: Presidential Pardon of Arpaio an Insult and Affront to Latino and Immigrant Communities

Aug 26, 2017
11:06 AM

The following is a Saturday morning media release from The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda:

Joe Arpaio in 2012 (CREDIT: Roberto Lovato/Latino Rebels)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, issued the following statement after news broke that Donald Trump had pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“Less than two weeks after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Donald Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the middle of a national emergency shows that the administration has a wanton disregard for the rule for law, and supports the extremist policies of brutality, bigotry, and racism targeting Latinos, and all immigrants communities. This is is yet another prime example of this administration’s anti-Latino, xenophobic agenda,” said Hector Sanchez, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “The right of a presidential pardon is one that should not be taken lightly nor used as an example of discrimination against an entire community. [Friday]’s pardon signifies to every racist that this president will forgive their actions and supports policies of police brutality, racial profiling and general lawlessness. We strongly condemn this action and move forward —with stronger resolve than ever— in our work to bring justice and fairness for our community and all who live in this nation.”

“In the dark of night to issue your first pardon to a nativist thug; what an incredibly shameful and embarrassing legacy,” said Thomas A. Saenz, NHLA Vice Chair and MALDEF President and General Counsel. “White House take note: apologists for racism are never judged highly by history.”

“President Trump’s decision to pardon Joe Arpaio, the disgraced former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff, is an affront to our system of laws and an insult to the thousands of Latino Arizonans who were unfairly and illegally targeted by Arpaio’s policies,” said José Calderón, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Immigration Committee and President of Hispanic Federation. “This blatant disregard for the law, coupled with Arpaio’s failure to show remorse, should have been enough reason to deny him pardon. What’s more, the absence of guidance from the Department of Justice, which typically provides the President with important analysis of potential pardon cases, cast an ugly pall over President Trump’s decision today. In the absence of legitimate reasons for pardoning Arpaio, it’s clear to us that President Trump’s pardon today reflects his endorsement of the former sheriff’s campaign of racial profiling and criminalizing immigrants. This is disgraceful but unsurprising.”

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is composed of 45 of the leading national and regional Latino civil rights and public policy organizations and other elected officials, and prominent Latinos Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community – Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Latino community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs. NHLA brings together Latino leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit:

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