PNT & LA Times Reports:
Joe Arpaio Hated On In San Diego During Country Club Visit
Sheriff Joe Arpaio brought his polarizing brand of immigration politics to San Diego on Tuesday afternoon, generating jeers as he faced off with protesters and later regaled a friendly (elderly ole boy) audience with details of his enforcement tactics in Phoenix.
Arpaios quips included:
1. Arpaio, controversial for his tent city lockups and law enforcement sweeps targeting illegal immigrants, came bearing a message for Californians. "A lot of [illegal immigrants] are heading to California that we arrest, and I would hope that your governor would at least send me a little note saying thank you for grabbing these guys," Arpaio said during a speech before a conservative group at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo.
2. Before the talk, Arpaio confronted a group of about 150 protesters waving "Stop the hate" and "Down with Arpaio" signs. "Why do you hate Mexicans?" one man yelled. Arpaio, protected by police, tried to speak, but was drowned out with chants of "Racist go home." It's the kind of heated reactions he gets all over the country, he told the audience later. "It's crazy. They're all telling me to go home. I have a right to be in San Diego. If you want to see my papers, I'll show them to all of you," Arpaio laughed.
3. The sheriff, long accustomed to the media spotlight, has become even more controversial as Arizona ramps up its anti-illegal-immigration stance with the passage of SB 1070. Key parts of the law, which requires officers to check the immigration status of people suspected of crimes, were blocked by a federal judge in July. Arpaio responded to the ruling by launching his 17th sweep of suspected illegal immigrants, many of whom end up incarcerated in tents. It's keeping him busy, but he said he was happy to be visiting relatively cool San Diego. "It's 109 degrees in Phoenix; 135 in the tents," Arpaio quipped (ridiculing those he is detaining in his tent city).
4. The tough-on-crime jokes drew laughs, but turned ugly at one point. When Arpaio asked the audience a rhetorical question about what to do with immigrants who crossed the border, one woman answered: "Shoot 'em." The remark drew some laughs from the ole boy RACIST crowd.
Such reactions from Arpaio supporters doesn't surprise critics, who accuse the sheriff of tactics and rhetoric that encourage extremist views. The protesters said such attitudes aren't welcome in California."We believe safe communities are based on trust and respect. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a contradiction to that," said Nidya Ramirez, coordinator of the Escondido Human Rights Committee, one of several groups that protested the event. "We're here because we care about what is happening in Arizona," said Manlio Correa, president of a group supporting the rights of immigrants from Mexico's western state of Michoacan. "It's deplorable, shameful."