I will begin with a bit of background about myself. I have lived in Arizona since my father was stationed to Luke AFB back in 1972. I was a Junior in High School and “One-Eyed” Jack was our State’s Governor. After my father retired the following year he began working at the State Capitol as a Capitol Police Officer. He did that for the remainder of his life.
After graduation from High School I struggled to find my ‘place’ and went through several different jobs and even worked for Mario Andretti and Andy Granatelli on some exotic powerplant options for tractor-trailers under contract to GMC. Eventually I decided to follow my father’s footsteps and desired to join the Air Force but had bought a house and had an awesome job building a nuclear power plant in Tonopah, AZ so decided to join the Air National Guard of Arizona instead. I entered the Security Polices after Basic Training in San Antonio, TX and that was the most important decision I was ever to make as it quickly turned into a full-time Active Duty position. That will be another story.
I was blessed to work in a reserve role with the Phoenix PD, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and even the FBI as a member of their Hostage Negotiation Team. I came to know and love these people. My career ended at 7:38 AM the day after Thanksgiving of 1992 when, just after release from duty and on the way home, I was struck in a classic ‘T-bone’ collision on my driver’s side door by a drunk illegal alien trying to get a friend’s van home before it was discovered missing. The entire left side of my body was crushed in the impact. My recovery to the somewhat damaged version of myself that exists today took many years. One might think that an event such as this would motivate some racist response on my part. It never did. Indeed, my spouse and three step-daughters are all Latina. The fact that the individual that never apologized, never appeared in court and reappeared in the US a few months later with a new name and identity with a new car, however, DID have a profound effect. I joined a growing number of Americans that had become very disillusioned about how our border security, more correctly a complete lack thereof, was being abused and Americans paid the price in damage to property, in blood and in lives.
We can all probably remember the promises of Presidents as far back as William Clinton that promised action regarding this issue. Clinton even promised a Great Wall, it never happened. The situation in Arizona came to a ‘head’ when President Barack Obama took office. At that point, the far-left realized that much of their voting base was driven by identity politics and the Latino vote could be had by the simple expedient of giving lip service to border security while turning a blind eye to incursions, creation of sanctuary cities and otherwise refusing to enforce existing law. It should come as no surprise then that in many of these jurisdictions the number of registered voters is as much as 144% of the adult population. Arizona decided that enough was enough and enacted SB1070 which was basically a copy of Federal Statutes regarding illegal immigration into the US and authorized local law enforcement to take an active role in assisting the Federal government as their ‘excuse’ was consistently insufficient resources. One of the more visible and aggressive Arizona LEOs involved was Sheriff Joe Arapaio. He was a problem for Obama for several reasons. Sheriff Joe was vastly popular outside the Latino community, specifically the Mexican community as most others such as my spouse’s Dominicans and the Columbian family down the road are pro-legal immigration. Sheriff Joe even achieved a level of international recognition. In my travels around Europe and Asia I was consistently surprised to find that Joe Arapaio was as well-known and more respected than our POTUS of the time. In relatively short order Sheriff Arapaio had teams of Sheriff’s Deputies out conducting sweeps. They specialized in raids on businesses where they would often make multiple arrests of illegal aliens using American citizens SSNs to cover their tracks which is not only illegal but can have a very deleterious effect on things like your Social Security Benefits, Medicare/Medicaid and your IRS responsibilities. The complaints from the left quickly became a cacophony and while the Sheriff’s actions in the State, and even within the only slightly left-leaning Maricopa County were quite popular (outside the Mexican/Hispanic community of course) it got a lot of negative attention from Washington. From here I can only make educated guesses about what happened. I am going to do so based on conversations with friends in law enforcement, some that far predate these events and knowledge I gained while working for the United States government until I was laid off under the Obama administration.
This picture is, perhaps, one of the most telling shots of the time and even brushes against a major issue the left is fighting right now. What was behind the first Civil War (because we are living the Second Civil War now) and that is States’ Rights. The ‘official’ reason given for Governor Jan Brewer yelling at the POTUS while shaking her finger in his face was that he began the meeting complaining about her presentation of him in her book. All this occurred just prior to his successful run for a second term. You know the one where he could be a better friend to Russia because he didn’t need to campaign anymore. I have heard that some of the animosity was centered around SB1070 and an on-going SCOTUS case regarding the right of a State to enforce Federal Law when the Federal government had determined failure to enforce the law was to the benefit of the country. At this point in time Eric Holder had already directed Judge Snow to issue a bench order to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office to cease and desist. Further the State was advised that criminal aliens caught in these sweeps would not be accepted by ICE under direction of an executive order given by President Obama. The order given to Sheriff Arapaio by Judge Snow literally forbade the use of commonly accepted standard police practice by every single law enforcement office on planet earth. It had the chilling effect of forcing the Sheriff’s Office to disregard all laws if those laws could engender contact with a potential illegal alien. Sheriff Arapaio knew that this order was illegal from day one. No judge has the power to literally order an elected Sheriff in the US to stop enforcement of any law. So he briefed his Deputies the best way he could with a policy that allowed the Deputies to maintain their duties while preventing any appearance of impropriety in enforcement of Federal Statutes regarding immigration. At this point I think it must be mentioned that ALL LEOs, regardless of jurisdiction, are required to enforce all laws. An example that is easiest to understand is this…a bank robbery is specifically a Federal Offense but the effect of Judge Snow’s order if applied across the board, meant that a bank robber could rob a bank right in front of a uniformed Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy and he would be powerless to interfere and would be unable to testify in court regarding the robbery. This, in my opinion, is what led to the Brewer/Obama confrontation. The Right of a State to defend itself when the Federal Government has abrogated its duty.
We come to today. The SCOTUS reviewed AZ SB1070 and declared it Constitutional so the original case filed against Sheriff Joe Arapaio in Federal Court just lost its teeth. The local Latino population is protesting in the street so the Judge charges Sheriff Arapaio with Criminal Contempt of Court to keep them happy. The Hispanics don’t even seem aware that the new charge has zero to do with their complaints and is nothing but a political face-saving maneuver for the Judge and what is left of Obama’s henchmen. Arapaio requests a jury for the trial. Judge Snow can’t allow that because he knows he will never be able to assemble a Jury in Maricopa County that would convict so he refuses, forces the trial and finds Sheriff Arapaio guilty. What we have here is a classic Kangaroo Court. Even a total idiot can see that, liberals don’t care because Arapaio is a Republican and supports President Trump so he MUST be a Nazi. President Trump also saw that and did the right thing by granting him a pardon.