I’ve been a fan of Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio since the days when I published small town newspapers in the Grand Canyon State years ago. In a time when political correctness and ignoring the law whenever it’s not convenient or might embarrass somebody seems to be the rule of the day, Sheriff Arpaio is a dinosaur who believes that the law is black and white, and enforces it, regardless of whose toes he steps on in the process.

You’ve probably heard of Tent City, the outdoor jail Sheriff Arpaio built to house inmates. When critics claimed that the living conditions were inhumane, the Sheriff replied that if living in tents was okay for our nation’s soldiers, it was okay for jail inmates too, and refused to back down.

The Sheriff believes that jail is not supposed to be a place to kick back and relax as criminals take a break from their regular routines of drug dealing, robbing citizens, and preying on the weak, and he doesn’t do much to make it comfortable. Cigarettes and skin magazines are banned from the jail, only certain television programs are allowed, Arpaio serves inmates green baloney, and reports that he spends more to feed his guard dogs than he does inmates. Arpaio also puts prisoners to work on chain gangs, cleaning up trash and cutting brush along highways. 

That may sound harsh to the do gooders out there, but the citizens of Maricopa County obviously appreciate his work, since Arpaio has been reelected to his office ever since pinning on the Sheriff’s badge in 1992.

Of course, anyone this brazen is sure to have many enemies too, and ever since he was first elected, they have been lining up trying to get rid of him. But the tenacious sheriff, a veteran of 25 years with the Drug Enforcement Administration, refuses to back down. 

The Sheriff is a strong advocate of enforcing immigration laws. Responding to complaints that police in Maricopa County engage in racial profiling by arresting Hispanics for minor crimes, in order to check their immigration status, last year the Department of Homeland Security took away Sheriff Arpaio’s power to arrest illegal immigrants. Huh? Since when should a law enforcement officer not be allowed to arrest lawbreakers? Only in today’s America, my friends.

But Arpaio knows how to fight fire with fire. Under an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office checks the immigration status of people booked into the jail by sheriff’s deputies, as well as other area police departments. Arpaio said his office has turned over 31,214 people who were in the country illegally to ICE.

This Saturday, anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 protestors from several states, organized by immigrant-rights advocates, are expected to take part in a demonstration against the Sheriff’s dedication to enforcing the law. Among them will be singer Linda Ronstadt, who should probably stick to singing, or else stick her microphone where the sun doesn’t shine.

The demonstration in Phoenix is part of several events planned nationwide, aimed at putting pressure on the government to stop arresting and deporting illegal immigrants as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration that began under the Bush administration.

I don’t know how the bureaucrats in Washington will react, but Sheriff Arpaio is taking it in stride, just like he does every attack on his methods. He said that people coming from out of state to join in the protest can “save their gas,” because instead of backing off from arresting illegal immigrants, he plans to increase his immigration enforcement. He plans to initiate a new program this month that will put even more resources into immigration law enforcement.

Treating criminals like criminals? Making jail a place you don’t want to go back to? Enforcing the law? What a concept! Every county in America should have a sheriff like Joe Arpaio. Let the criminal element and the bleeding heart idiots whine all they want, all I have to say is Way To Go, Sheriff Joe!

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31 Comments on Way To Go, Sheriff Joe!

  1. Jerry Ray says:

    One of the very few people in this country who has the “cajones” to stand up for what he believes in!! Too bad I am not registered in AZ. I would absolutely vote for him for president!!

  2. Marilee Downing says:

    I have been a fan of Sheriff Joe for years. I agree with you, we need more just like him. An illegal is a criminal. They are breaking our laws. AND, I do not want our laws change on this. Let them come into this country the legal way. We aren’t the only country that have laws regarding entry into their country. We are just, as far as I know, the only country that ignores their own laws and gives law inforcement a hard time when they do try to inforce the law. The majority of the American people said they wanted our borders closed. Yet again, our government body ignores what the majority want.

  3. George Stoltz says:

    Nick

    We gotta get your Bad Nick Blog syndicated. You tell it like it is, and more people need to know about some of the nonsense that is going on.

  4. MichaelG says:

    You do realize that none of this matters?

    This is just like the War on Drugs. Politicians, judges and sheriffs use it to get elected, get bigger budgets and shred civil rights. They throw the unluckiest or stupidest drug dealers and users in jail, ruining their lives if the drugs haven’t already, and… nothing changes.

    Illegal immigration is the same. For ever one of the immigrants someone like Joe jails or kicks out of the country, there are a thousand more willing to risk coming into this country to work. Police departments and border guards get turned into military-style units, people have their lives ruined, and… nothing changes.

    Both of these “wars” are supported by people who’d rather cheer useless politicians and political gestures than think about real solutions to either problem.

  5. Joe Vagott says:

    These illegal immigrats always want their rights. If they are here illegally they have no rights in the USA period.

  6. Wayne says:

    Sherriff Joe, a man who does his job. If you do the crime then do your time. Joe need’s to put some of our elected leaders that are convicted in his program.

  7. Wanderin' says:

    And, Janet Napolitano, previous governor of Arizona, continued to oppose Joe’s efforts by trying to cut funding to his department when she was in office there. Yet, she was chosen head of Homeland Security ??? We really got a charge out of that one!

  8. Chris Koeppel says:

    I agree with you. We need more people like him. If I was an AZ resident I’d vote for him too.
    We are fulltimers & are glad we went to AZ for the winter seems to be only warm place this winter.

  9. Bob Derivan says:

    Amen to Sheriff Joe. I’ve voted for him every time he’s run for office and will continue to do so. In fact, my wife has a pair of his ‘Pink Underwear’ personally autographed by him she wears around the house. Illegal immigration is the biggest threat to the safety of our country today and if people like MichaelG don’t think so they need to go to the border area in Southern Arizona and see what really is going on. Put your ‘bleeding heart’ better use and help the poor, starving children in Appalachia.

  10. BarbaraB says:

    Illegal=unlawful, against the law

    Why is it so hard for Washington and all the bleeding hearts to understand that something that is UNlawful is a crime and those who choose to do something illegal, should be treated as criminals?! No, that does not mean the law should be changed. It means it should be ENFORCED.

    I have been a fan of Sherriff Joe’s for several years. I just wish I could figure out how we get more like him.

    The protestors should just be glad that we don’t shoot the illegals as they come over the border, like my dad’s cousin used to do when he was on the Border Patrol.

  11. we need to clone Sherrif Joe a million times and spread him all around this country. And send a couple thousand copies especilly to Washington DC and take our country back.
    Spanish is not the language of the USA !!

  12. Rex says:

    The keyword is “Illegal” and that is the wrong word. The correct word is “invader” and invaders should be shot on sight.

    Remember, If you love your freedom, thank a Veteran.

  13. Bill Joyce says:

    What I find surprising is in all the years that Sheriff Joe has been doing these things very few of his ways have been picked up by other sheriffs or people in the position to pick them up. Why is no one campaigning that they will “be just like Sheriff Joe Arpaio”? He is popular and people think what he does it good, so where are these clones? I personally don’t understand why there are not a bunch of mini-Joe’s out there or are they and they don’t get the publicity?

  14. Amen, Nick…..100% in agreement!

  15. Joe says:

    GO JOE GO !!!!!!

  16. Bob says:

    Boy this one is hard to decide on….GO JOE ! ! ! Before it all comes crashing down!

  17. Dog Folks says:

    Agree 100%

    We need more like him!

    We allos need moee like “Bad Nick” — Telling it like it is!

  18. Chris says:

    Amongst that 20,000 protesters… there must be some illegals in the mob.
    It would be real easy for sherrif Joe and his deputys to nab em when they are all bunched up like that!!!

  19. I was a sworn Michigan deputy sheriff back in the 60s and would have been overjoyed to work for a man of Joe’s integrity and desire to do the job he has sworn to do — enforce the law.

  20. Art says:

    I can understand why Linda Ronstadt would be sympathetic to Mexicans — she’s one herself. Personally I never could understand why any one would buy her albums. She can’t sing worth a darn. Next, they’ll try to invite the Cisco Kid!

    WAY TO GO JOE !!!

  21. Cal Hall says:

    You really have to love this guy. Wish there were more like him throughout the country.

  22. “…ignoring the law whenever it’s not convenient…” is exactly the point. While I may agree somewhat with the sheriff’s treatment of prisoners, I draw the line at his abuse of his investigatory and policing powers in a blatant attempt to intimidate political opponents and critics. The sheriff’s consistent, and well documented, abuse of power is the main reason why I believe he should be run out of town on a rail!

    In addition, the constant harassment of native born US citizens based on their ethnicity is completely unacceptable, not to mention a violation of their constitutional rights. Contrary to much current right wing thinking in this country, all people of hispanic heritage are not illegal aliens, or even legal immigrants. Many of them have deeper roots in the soil of this country than most descendants of European immigrants.

    This on-going abuse of power by the sheriff has become so blatant that it has attracted the attention of the Federal Attorney’s Office, and a Grand Jury investigation of the sheriff’s actions is currently underway.

    “Every county in America should have a sheriff like Joe Arpaio.” That is not the country I want to live in! Sheriff Arpaio reminds me very much of Sen. Joe McCarthy and his anti-communist witch hunts of the early 50’s. Just go after the people who disagree with us and the heck with pesky legal arguments and constitutional rights against illegal detention and prosecution.

    If Sheriff Arpaio was to “enforce the law” with any integrity I would be behind him 100%, but he has chosen to become a law onto himself and heaven help those who disagree with him in any manner. Not in my country! And I stand with those who oppose him, that kind of “law enforcement” has no place in this county!

  23. Denise Gray says:

    At the hospital where I work I am not supposed to say “illegal alien”. I am supposed to say “undocumented worker”! Huh! Many of the “illegals” don’t work! Our tax dollars pay for their hospital stay. So I keep saying it and keep getting corrected for my politically incorrect vocabulary, but illegal is illegal, and they should go back to where they came from and wait in line to get into the good old US of A!

  24. Art in Arizona says:

    Nick, Welcome home to Arizona. I have a question for you. The question is, “Which two cities in Arizona have the largest Mexican population? If you answered Phoenix and Tucson you would be wrong. The correct answer is Tent City and Food City.

    Go find the rest them Sheriff Joe. You’re almost half way there, Check around Home Depot too.

  25. Kenneth says:

    They put our sheriff in jail because of prisoners being serviced corn dogs for two meals.
    Check out morgan co. alabama sheriff greg bartlet in the decatur daily.
    If Arizona had our federal judge the sheriff joe would be in jail.

  26. Kenneth says:

    Here is the story from our paper.
    The Daily is not my favorite paper but here is the latest-

    Top Ten Stories of 2009 : #9 Greg Bartlett
    Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett has never been afraid to speak his mind. Over the years, he’s had colorful run-ins with county commissioners, the media and prisoners in his jail.

    But in January of this year, things took a serious turn as a judge was listening to complaints from Morgan County Jail inmates. They said that Sheriff Bartlett hadn’t been feeding them properly.

    Some former inmates we talked with, say they’re not surprised. “I probably coulda eaten 3 or 4 trays of it and still been hungry, the portions were skimpy they were not adequate.” said one former inmate who didn’t want to be identified. Loretta McDonald spent five days in the Morgan County Jail in 2005. We asked her what they were fed. “Sandwiches basically, sandwiches and chips, that’s all they fed us.. cold coffee eggs, when they fed us.”

    It wasn’t the first time the accusation was made. Bartlett was actually under a court order to improve the jail menu from a previous case. On January 7th, Judge U-W Clemon decided he wasn’t living up to that court order and sent Bartlett to jail for the night. Clemon ruled that Bartlett had incentive to under-feed prisoners. He had been keeping left over money that he didn’t spend on food for himself. Believe it or not.. At the time, that was perfectly legal.

    Bartlett was able to avoid the irony of spending time in his own jail, and instead was sent to a federal facility in Talladega. He was released the next day, and was ready to speak out immediately. “I’ve eaten the food myself” Bartlett told us right after returning to Decatur. “The food is adequate no doubt in my mind. If I didn’t make a dime we wouldn’t be talking about this issue that is what it’s all about.”

    Based on the reaction we got in the newsroom to the story – he may have been on to something. We received hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from you commenting on this story. While a few applauded Bartlett, many of you said he should be punished for not feeding inmates properly, but a lot were more upset about the money involved.

    Lawmakers and fellow law enforcement officials jumped on the political hot button right away. Bills to end the practice of pocketing the extra money were introduced In the mean time, Bartlett installed cameras in the kitchen to make sure his efforts in feeding the inmates were documented.

    Now, as 2010 begins, the sheriff will be in a tough re-election fight in the months ahead. Sheriff Bartlett already has at least two challengers who want his job, and this issue will almost certainly come up again

  27. Cindy says:

    I think sheriff Joe is on the right track. If we had better enforcement of our immigration laws, there would not be profiling of Hispanics, but unfortunately the majority of the illegal aliens are Hispanic. As long as this remains true, we will spend more time checking the documentation of Hispanic workers. If we had less undocumented workers, we would have more opportunitities for people to enter this country legally. If most of the jobs currently being done by undocumented workers were done by documented workers, they would be able to afford to help their friends and family obtain legal status. It would spiral in the proper direction. As it is now businesses are using cheap labor to compete against each other. These businesses also need to be held accountable. Part of the problem also lies with each and every one of us, we want everything cheaper and cheaper. we need to have an awareness of the long term cost of only buying products which cannot possibly be produced and sold using humane labor costs.

  28. Jim Burnett says:

    So, where are the organizers of protests to counter the “Anti-Joe” protestors. Why aren’t we taking to the streets and demanding action … as important as the written word is, the spoken, the shouted word is the one that get’s heard.
    I am not of French ancestry and have never been there, but I am a bit in awe of when the people of France don’t like what’s going on, they take to the streets. I’ve not advocating open rebellion, but I think too many of us are silent or do little more than complaining to each other when perhaps we should be shouting as lound as we can …

  29. John Corbett says:

    Joe for President!

  30. John Corbett says:

    When I retire I think I’ll move to his county!

  31. Allan Webster says:

    Some people complain about law enforcement profiling certain groups of people but the fact is there are not that many black woman or old white men crossing the border illegally. The borders need to be protected from people breaking the law. Law enforcment officers should be allowed to do their jobs and that is what Sheriff Joe is doing, many others want to but are afraid of being scolded for being politically incorrect or their Washington appointed bosses won’t let them. What is the country coming to when we coddle criminals.
    Nick, I think you are right in endorsing Sheriff Joes position

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