Handcuff Everyone with Brown Skin -- We'll sort 'em Out Later

Our execrable sheriff Joe Arpaio conducted another of his famous roundups of people with brown skin.  This time descending on an area landscaping company, our brave deputies zip-tied anyone who did not look Anglo-Saxon.  To have their handcuffs removed, workers of Latin descent had to first provide proof that they were in the country legally.  Note that there is no legal requirement that I know of that workers in this country carry proof of citizenship at all times, on the off-chance the local Gestapo will descend on them and demand to see their papers.

Deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office raided a Mesa
landscaping company early Wednesday morning, arresting nearly three
dozen people suspected of being in the country illegally.

The raid on offices of Artistic Land Management, on Main Street just
west of Dobson Road, happened about 4:30 a.m., according to one worker
who was handcuffed and detained before being released when he produced
documentation that he was in the country legally....

Juarez estimated about 35 workers were handcuffed with plastic zip-ties
while deputies checked for documents. Those who could provide proof
they were in the country legally were released, while others were put
on buses and taken away.


  1. Jens Fiederer:

    Remind me to bring my passport if I ever visit your fair (or maybe a bit unfair) city. Fortunately my skin is light, but I actually WAS born a foreign citizen (long ago).

    Although with a name like Arpaio, you'd think latins would get the BEST treatment, maybe it's even worse for those born German (naturalized to USA in the seventies).

  2. DJB:

    Life imitates fiction? Reminds me of the 1987 Cheech Marin movie Born in East LA.

  3. Blackshire:

    How is he getting away with this? I'm not a Constitutional scholar but I'm pretty sure local sheriff departments can't go around pretending to be federal agents. Reminds me more of Blazing Saddles than Born in East L.A.

  4. RJP:

    Let's not get too carried away with throwing labels like 'Gestapo' and intimations of unconstitutionality around. As the article states:

    "Sheriff's officials said the search warrants that allowed deputies to raid the business were based on information received from a former employee at the firm who indicated that Hernandez was employing illegal immigrants."

    Note the term 'search warrants', something guaranteed by the Constitution. And, unlike Arpaio, who is an elected official under constant public scutiny, the Gestapo was free from any type of judicial oversight or restraint.

    Also, from the USCIS website:
    "Permanent Resident Card
    The Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551, is issued to all Permanent Residents as evidence of alien registration and their permanent status in the US. The card must be in your possession at all times."
    So not all workers in this country need to carry proof of citizenship at all times, just non-citizens.

  5. Highway:

    Quick question, RJP: If you're a citizen, should you be harassed because you don't have proof of citizenship on you? Since you don't have to carry it. And how credulous are these thugs gonna be if you don't, say, have your voter registration card or something else for citizenship on you, and they think you're not in the country legally?

  6. mahtso:

    “Quick question, RJP: If you're a citizen, should you be harassed because you don't have proof of citizenship on you?”

    I can’t answer for RJP, but I’d say “No.” Nevertheless, any of us that are out without ID face the prospect that we will be harassed if the police have probable cause to detain us.

    As the linked story made clear: the Sheriff's Office was executing search warrants and had information that the business owner was knowingly hiring illegal aliens. The story also provides that of the 29 who were detained, 20 are suspected of identity theft.

    The story actually shows that everyone was handcuffed, so skin color may have had nothing to do with it. But, presumably the search warrants were predicated on information that the illegal aliens/identity thieves were Hispanic, which would provide probable cause to detain. But that reflects my own bias (i.e., start with the assumption that the Sheriff’s Office is acting in conformity with the law.) The fact that Highway calls the sheriffs deputies “thugs” indicates a bias on his part.

    Many people in Arizona believe that illegal immigration is a serious problem and that the Feds have not appropriately addressed that problem. To give an idea as to the scope of the problem: the Arizona Republic has previously reported that the human smuggling trade through Arizona generates about $1.7 to 1.8 billion per year, all of which must be laundered. And, as one might expect, with that much money at stake, there is a lot of violence associated with the trade (much of which is directed at the illegal aliens.)

    I am also not a Con law scholar, but I understand that the Sheriff's Office has an agreement with the Feds that authorizes it to enforce the immigration laws. And in Arizona, it is illegal for a business to knowingly hire illegal aliens.

  7. RockyMtnHigh:

    In my youth, the state high school cheerleading championships were held in my city. What a great time to have a party at a hotel with lots of beer. When the inevitable bust came imagine my disbelief when I told the officers I hadn't been drinking and they still took me away. Damn Gestapo!

  8. bfine:

    "a tip from a former employee". My company had a similar situation where a disgruntled employee made accusations about our employing illegal aliens to every authority he could find. Of course the authorities did the right thing and ignored him.
    I am also not a legal scholar, but I would think for a search warrant to be issued there would have to be a specific accusation from someone credible with evidence to support it. For example if the warrant was for a specific person they could go in and arrest that person. Storming the building and detaining every individual because of an accusation that the company hires some illegals is like the police getting a warrant based on the fact that someone said "something" illegal was going on in your house, trashing your place and seizing your property until you can prove that it in fact belongs to you.

  9. Matt:

    Based on Arpaio's past actions, I have to question if those warrants had specific names on them.

    How is it not blatant kidnapping if a specific person is not named in the warrant?

  10. Ray G:

    Our Sheriff Joe catches some grief for his antics, but he's so popular that most people are afraid of him to mess with him in the media.

    The basic pattern is that the government allows a legal mess to get out of hand. Then because things are in such disarray, they create their own reason to come in like the gestapo.

  11. Jenny:

    Playing devils advocate. Is it possible that illegal immigration is such a problem in this part of the country, and that there is a a flagrant disregard for the law of the land, that Arpagio's tactics are a sign of desperation?

  12. Curtis:

    Wow, what comments. I quite like the zillions of illegal immigrants who unlawfully entered this country complaining about the zealous enforcement of our laws. Everything about this was lawfully executed but the guilty complain? Oh, and their friends don't like law enforcement either..... Maybe they should think about moving to someplace that's a little fairer to the lawbreakers. Mexico perhaps?