Opinion: Joe Arpaio's recent statements regarding DACA recipients are hypocritical

Arpaio's statements on DACA recipients don't reflect ASU values

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced his bid for the 2018 Arizona Senate race last month. 

Arpaio is known for having a no-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal immigration in Arizona. His recent comments on DACA recipients have highlighted the hypocrisy in his statements — he wants to deport them. 

Meanwhile, Arpaio himself holds a criminal conviction. 

In mid-2017, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt for detaining illegal immigrants on the basis that they lacked legal status, but had no other convictions. A federal judge had ruled that Arpaio was not able to do this, but he and his colleagues continued this practice for more than a year and a half. 

ASU is an exceedingly diverse university and had 200 DACA students on campus in the 2016-2017 school year.

This diversity is important to maintaining ASU’s melting pot culture. It is through this environment that students can learn more about different cultures and become more educated on global issues.

Although President Trump pardoned Arpaio, his criminal conviction still remains. The judge who granted his conviction has refused to nullify his guilty status, thereby leaving the verdict to stain his reputation as he enters the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Arizona. 

When considering Arpaio’s long history of treating illegal immigrants and prisoners like inferiors, it is almost impossible to accept the validity of his statements. 

"Personally, I think anything Joe Arpaio says has no validity because of his own blatant disregard for the law," said Korina Iribe Romo, a DACA recipient, ASU graduate student and an advocacy director of Undocumented Students for Education Equity. "He often talks about the rule of law and strong leadership in Arizona, yet it’s only applied when it’s beneficial to him or furthers his agenda."

Arpaio's comments reflect an intent to deport DACA recipients for crimes they may not have committed themselves, while he refuses to pay the price for an act that he has been accused of time and time again. 

"His stated desire to deport illegal immigrants based on some notion of 'law and order' has to ring hollow given his own troubles following the law," David Howman, president of the ASU College Libertarians, said. "I think the fact that he's holding others to a higher standard than himself explains why he's a dangerous candidate for Senate and why Arizona voters should let him nowhere near any public office."

This is not the type of leader ASU students should support to represent Arizona. 

It is one thing to disagree with a specific piece of legislation or a fundamental value — many people disagree with the DACA and illegal immigration. However, to expect all DACA recipients to pay the price of a crime they arguably did not commit while he avoids the consequences of his own actions demonstrates a serious lack of qualifications for Senate. 

ASU students should explore other options when determining who to vote for in the 2018 U.S. Senate race. There are several other viable candidates, such as Dr. Kelli Ward, Rep. Martha McSally and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

Arpaio's long career in dealing with crime has turned him into a hypocrite and a criminal. Students must fight back against Arpaio in order to maintain the safety of Arizonans. 

"We have had so many ups and downs and uncertainty with our students on whether we will be able to pay for our education," Iribe Romo said. "We are not backing down. We will continue to organize, and we will not let threats and comments intimidate us."

Reach the columnist at amsnyde6@asu.edu or follow @AnnieSnyder718 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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