A New Show By Arizona Sheriff Arpaio: Immigrant Detainees March On The Street To Detention Site

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
200 undocumented immigrants were marched through downtown Phoenix.

200 undocumented immigrants were marched through downtown Phoenix. (Photo: La Frontera Times)

Not one to shy away from attention, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio put on another one of his media-oriented public shows on Wednesday, when he had 200 undocumented immigrant detainees march in handcuffs along a Phoenix street, wearing black-and-white- striped prisoner suits.

Pro-immigrant news site La Frontera Times reported,

The road was closed to all but the press. The press was notified of the public spectacle the day before and arrangements were made for all media to be present and photograph and film the prisoners. All the major television stations were present as were newspapers and radio and television helicopters hovered overhead.

The forced march though short had one intended effect: it was a publicity orgy for the Sheriff.

Arpaio, the star of a much-criticized Fox Reality channel reality show, ordered the march to separate illegal immigrants from the rest of the inmate population. The inmates walked to their new detention facility, a holding camp known as Tent City which Arpaio set up in 1993.

The Associated Press reported,

Arpaio said (in a statement) housing the illegal immigrants separately would save money, although he did not explain how other than to say it’s cheaper to house inmates in tents than at traditional jails.

According to La Frontera Times‘ Alfredo Gutiérrez, the attention-seeking sheriff gave a brief press conference before the prisoner march, where he said the prisoners “like it out here. Okay? They’d rather be here than in a hard facility. Here, they have the beautiful sun. They can walk around and it’s a nice program.”

Dozens of protesters present at the march and some local officials were not amused.

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said the sheriff could be violating the inmates human rights and announced she would take the matter to the Department of Justice, according to L.A. newspaper La Opinión.

Enrique Morones, founder of humanitarian organization Border Angels, told La Opinión‘s Eileen Truax that Arpaio should be jailed for human rights violations.

That image, men marching down the street in chains, is the way in which African Americans were treated when they were slaves. This man thinks he is mocking immigrants, but he is not a native in this country, his great-great-grandparents were immigrants too. He represents the legal system in this country, with things like this, like Guantanamo, like Abu Ghraib.

Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the Arizona ACLU, told The A.P. that the march itself was not unconstitutional, but it was degrading and unnecessary to shepherd prisoners in front of media.

“You’re sort of giving the message that it’s OK to treat these inmates differently. It’s OK to treat them like circus animals,” Soler Meetze said. “He didn’t have to make a spectacle. He could’ve moved them on buses.”


  1. max

    yes the sheriff is doing the right thing we will not open the border to any body without knowing who do we have here. many of them are good people, but many of them are criminals running away from justice from their mother country. i know that every body is looking to earn money to support their families, but they need to do it the right way. we need to screen every person who enters this country. legal or illegaly. i think we have enough criminals in this country and we are unable to hold any more.this is for every culture.like i need a passport to enter into mexico, or other countries they need to do it for safety reasons
    my regards to the maricopa sheriff, thumbs up. max.

  2. trini

    Those people are not killing, raping or thiefing.The Indians are still watching and telling the stories of the past and the present.What is the sence you living and cannot help your brothers and sisters.God is the judge.The country has gone bankrupt and is getting worse.The faster the Illegal is free the faster the country will recover.

  3. Pingback: Obama Administration May Revise Controversial Immigration Enforcement Program « Feet In 2 Worlds

  4. Mikal Dmon

    I bet none of thousands of people are actually citizens..Americans are too busy looking for those jobs that we’re often accused of not doing, so we don’t have allot of free time on our hands to protest the treatment of Mexicans.I also find it very sad that the Hispanic community in America
    are so determined to place their interest and agenda ahead of the WILL OF THE COUNTRY , as if we haven’t give then enough..ENOUGH!

  5. walked to the u.s. not travel on a boat

    What have you given that didn’t belong to us first, typical 14-17 hundred European idea, that now translates into the new American xenophobia, the only problem is we never came on boats to America. Stop blaming Hispanics for the problems this country has, and blame poor financial decisions, greedy corporations and the almighty American greed,this country stops being great when people like you blame their personal problem on others and think that a public display of shame is needed to avoid migration from Mexico or any other Hispanic country and to remind you the largest population of Hispanics comes from Mexico so your problem is with Mexico not the Hispanic community. So tell me what is the will of the country? I beg you Mikal to tell me the will of the country, cause i will tell the Hispanic community’s agenda:
    1. not all hispanics are from Mexico.
    2. the U.S. has been interfering with Latin countries for decades, so stop it!
    3. crack open a history book and read a the oldest colony in the world, Puerto Rico, which status has been ignored for decades, even after the U.N. requested a solution, ironic for a country that was against colonial stronghold( Puertorricans where forced to be U.S. citizens).
    4. we took advantage of what you took for granted, that is way so many North Americans complain,(that is what you are called in the rest of the world)
    [Edited due to improper language.]

    so don’t blame the Hispanic kid that took initiative and reached his goals because you thought that super bowl sunday was more important than reading or that an XBOX was the best way to reward you kids.
    5. wake up mikal because we have the countries interest in our back, we have been caring it on our backs for decades, while you guy were indulging.
    6. recognize that you are settlers that came to an already set country.
    7. and when you say we have giving you enough think about the Hispanic Vets that have served in war to keep you safe, enough..ENOUGH, you have barely given us a quarter of what you took and continue to take, so from now on refer to your self as “North American” cause that is what you are, cause the rest of the Americans in the the Americas are a shame of you! you destroyed this country, not us!

  6. Pingback: Arizona Bill Would Criminalize the Presence of Undocumented Immigrants in the State « Feet In 2 Worlds, Immigration News

  7. Worlds Immigration News…
    They are as much BS as the ACLU and ACORN, no wonder this Great America is in deep s–t. With these kind of agencies and with this administration … we will not see 2012. Or be glad !

    So while everything is as it is…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *