Phoenix, AZ - Sheriff Arpaio is landing in court once again due to his continued racial profiling and anti-immigrant pursuits.
This morning Jacinta Gonzalez, a local resident and the field director for Mijente, filed a suit against the Sheriff and Maricopa County alleging that she was racially profiled and held unconstitutionally. She will be represented by the National Immigrant Justice Center; Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resick & Dym, Ltd; the Law Offices of Ray Ybarra Maldonado, PLC, and the Law Offices of R. Andrew Free.
“Because my last name is Gonzalez I was treated differently in Arpaio’s jail,” she said at a press conference earlier this morning. “I was interrogated differently and ultimately I was held in custody with no legal basis all because how the Sheriff views people like me.”
Already facing trial for criminal contempt of court in another racial profiling case, the new lawsuit demonstrates additional and continued problems at the Sheriff’s office that could be inherited by the Sheriff-elect Paul Penzone. Specifically, the lawsuit challenges Maricopa County’s policy and practice of honoring immigration detainers without a warrant, and if successful, could result in an end to the practice. Federal courts in Illinois and Oregon have previously ruled that ICE’s immigration detainers practices are unlawful.
“Arpaio’s unconstitutional relationship with ICE was the centerpiece to his racial profiling and abuse of power. So long as Arpaio policies exist the human rights crisis brought upon Maricopa county will continue,” explained Carlos Garcia, Executive Director of Puente. “Acknowledging the unconstitutionality of ICE detainers and getting immigration agents out of 4th avenue jail is a start,” he added.
“Sheriff Arpaio’s office claims that the Constitution applies differently to immigration arrests—this lawsuit is intended to set that straight,” said Mark Fleming, national immigration coordinator for the National Immigrant Justice Center. “There is only one U.S. Constitution and the Fourth Amendment applies equally to every arrest.”
With offices in Chicago, Indiana, and Washington, D.C., Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. Visit immigrantjustice.org and follow @NIJC.
Mijente is a national hub for Latinx and Chicanx organizing that comes out of the Not One More Deportation Campaign. Using a hybrid offline and online platform, we’re creating a political home that brings together leadership, advocacy, culture and media to spark the culture and policy change we need. Visit mijente.net and follow at @conmijente.