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BREAKING: Trump Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio


BREAKING: Trump Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio

President Trump on Friday pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, The New York Times reports. The disgraced sheriff, known for aggressive efforts to hunt down and detain undocumented immigrants, was convicted last month of criminal contempt of court for defying the order.

The criminal conviction grew out of a lawsuit charging that the sheriff’s office regularly violated the rights of Latinos, stopping people based on racial profiling, detaining them based solely on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally, and turning them over to the immigration authorities.

According to the report, the White House issued a two-paragraph statement saying that with Mr. Arpaio’s years of “admirable service to our nation, he is worthy candidate for a presidential pardon.”

Trump, who made cracking down on illegal immigration a signature campaign issue and had pressed for local officials to do more to assist federal authorities in rounding up undocumented people, had been openly flirting with the idea of pardoning Mr. Arpaio.

“I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy,” the president said Tuesday night at a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, after asking, “Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?”

Mr. Arpaio, 85, served for 24 years as sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, building a national reputation for harsh conditions in his county jail, and for his campaign against undocumented immigrants.

A federal district judge hearing the case ordered Mr. Arpaio in 2011 to stop detaining people based solely on suspicion of their immigration status, when there was no evidence that a state law had been broken. But the sheriff insisted that his tactics were legal and that he would continue employing them.

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