Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County Arizona has decided to step into the New Mexico political scene. An article from Gwyneth Doland in the New Mexican Independent News website describes how the Sheriff who is both hated and revered across this country decided to endorse Aubrey Dunn in his 2cd Congressional District primary race against Ed Tinsley.
I have described in some past blog posts some of Sheriff Arpaio's tactics regarding his tent city jails and lately he has taken to rounding up illegal immigrants in his county. He has begun using deputies to round up immigrants and even started a hot line where citizens can call in information on smugglers and individual immigrants. Using laws designed to arrest smugglers of immigrants he is arresting the immigrants who are smuggled as co-conspirators. He is one of the first and may be the only sheriff in the country who is doing this. Because of Sheriff Arpaio's hard stance on illegal immigration he is supporting Aubrey Dunn who is also taking a hard line on illegal immigrants. Aubrey Dunn has also attracted the support of the Minute Man Civil Defense Corps. The Minute Men are a group of volunteers who's mission it is to patrol the border and catch immigrants crossing over illegally.
Both Sheriff Arpaio and The Minute Men cite Aubrey Dunn's promise to fight any type of amnesty program as the reason they are supporting him. In this blog post I discussed whether Sheriff Arpaio would last a day in Santa Fe. Here are some other posts where I discussed Sheriff Arpaio.
New Mexico is a diverse state, City's like Santa Fe and Albuquerque have proclaimed themselves immigrant friendly, while cities and counties which are along the Mexico, New Mexico border take a hard line with immigration. Problems from illegal immigration are much more pronounced in the cities and counties along the New Mexico border and as such the citizens who live in the area want relief. Some candidates from these areas are positioning themselves to attract the voters who are fed up with the immigration problems in the U.S.. I do feel that immigration reform is needed and while we should strengthen our borders we must make a workable solution available for those who want to come and work here to do so in a legal way. I have often felt that Sheriff Arpaio has a tendency to tip toe if not step on civil rights and often chooses the extreme solution to a problem. This does provide media coverage and can rally the troops which, when you look at his re-election numbers seems to work well in his county. It's not my style and Sheriff Arpaio and myself are on completely opposite sides of the political spectrum.