Joe Arpaio Fights For Holiday Cheer

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dotpolka/">dotpolka</a>(Creative Commons)

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Each year, the holidays raise tensions about the role of religion in work places, public areas, and schools. Now, America’s immigration grinch is fighting for holiday cheer.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is best known for his immigration sweeps in mostly Hispanic neighborhoods, blatant defiance of justice department instructions, and smear campaigns against his critics. But this year, “America’s toughest sheriff” is taking on another persona: champion of holiday tunes.

“Despite a series of lawsuits and grievances filed by inmates to stop it,” writes [pdf] the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arpaio has ordered his jail system to play holiday music continuously through the season. The problem, it appears, is that the sheriff’s 8,000 inmates would rather not be subjected to constant holiday merriment. Inmates have filed six separate lawsuits asking that Arpaio be forced to cut off the music. So far, five of those suits have been thrown out. “Score five for Santa Claus,” says Arpaio.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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