Arizona Sheriff Collared, Bad Policy Still at Large

by flickr user cobalt123 used under Creative Commons license

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Infamous Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio—subject of scorn and New Yorker profiles, who flaunts his brutal treatment of undocumented immigrants in Maricopa county—may be smarting since his deputies were stripped of their power to arrest and detain suspected immigration offenders last week. But the bad policy he epitomized is far from gone.

In fact, the program is expanding, despite ample evidence that it undermines local police work. Known as 287(g), the program is meant to snag gang bangers, coyotes and narcotraficantes.  In practice, however, it grants local cops the authority to begin deportation proceedings over a speeding ticket, or to aid ICE in home raids, or to generally intimidate whole immigrant communities, documented or otherwise, into avoiding law enforcement altogether. Though the Obama administration has revised the program’s most contentious aspects (participants will have until October 15th to sign off on watered-down privileges), the most basic problems remain. 

“We have seen, in late spring, the release of additional 287(g) agreements. [The administration] promised a review of those agreements, but in the process there has been an expansion to additional localities,” said Gabriela Villareal, advocacy coordinator for the New York Immigration Coalition. “Any enforcement of immigration law should be placed in the hands of the federal government. [287(g)] creates an additional level of distrust in the community.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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