The sweep was scheduled to start Thursday morning but was postponed for several hours while deputies dealt with civil protesters blocking roadways in downtown Phoenix. Dozens of civil activists protesting the state's new immigration law have been arrested this week for standing up for their righteous cause. SB 1070, partially went into effect Thursday. SB1070 makes it a misdemeanor offense for immigrants in Arizona not to carry registration papers, effectively allowing police to arrest a person on suspicion of being in the country illegally. But a federal judge blocked that portion of the law earlier in the week.
Arpaio has said he doesn't need the law to hold his suppression sweeps in Latino neighborhoods, which capture offenders for mostly minor, civil violations. The racial profiling "suppression sweep" operation marked the 17th time Arpaio has deployed hundreds of deputies and volunteer posse members in an area of the Valley to root out undocumented workers instead of going after felonious criminals. Deputies typically take a "zero tolerance" approach to traffic offenses and then check the criminal history of the motorists.
Arpaio's masked goon squad have arrested 1,003 people in their operations dating back to March 2008. Of those, 714 were suspected (no papers on them) of being in the country illegally, according to the Sheriff's Office who did not provide actual numbers of those they arrested who were actually latino citizens vs undocumented workers.