Back in the United States, as Hurricane Harvey was bearing down on Texas, President Trump pardoned the notorious racist Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court for defying a court order to stop his deputies from racial profiling. Arpaio has been a major supporter of Donald Trump. Arpaio’s policies have included detaining immigrants in a scorching outdoor tent city jail, which Arpaio once referred to as his own “concentration camp.” He was voted out of office as Maricopa County’s longtime sheriff after immigrants organized a massive grassroots election campaign against him. Immigrant rights activists have widely condemned the pardon, saying Trump’s pardon sanctions illegal discrimination against immigrants. This is Francisca Porchas of the group Puente Arizona, speaking on Democracy Now!
Francisca Porchas: “For us, it’s a slap in the face of all of the years of organizing that it took for us to hold him accountable, of the lawsuit that came because of his racial profiling in the streets. … Who should be pardoned are the people who he criminalized, the people who are now not ever going to be able to come out of the shadows, as you may say, or have a real chance at living a normal life.”