There wasn’t a more conservative law-and-order county in the US than Maricopa County, Arizona until Sheriff Joe Arpaio lost his 7th election campaign mostly because the number of legal Latino residents in the Phoenix area voted him out.

New administration balks at ICE requests

Paul Penzone is the new Maricopa County sheriff and he has just made his first major change in the way things are done in his jurisdiction when he announced that his jails would no longer detain people for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) beyond the time when they would normally be released for whatever infraction they had committed that landed them in jail.

One thing left out of the complaints about such sanctuary regions is that if the ICE offices acted more quickly there would be no need at all for the extra 48 hours detention which they always ask for and got, until last Friday, because of Sheriff Arpaio's rule that this hold be routinely granted by the previous administration. If ICE simply kept better track of arrests and acted more quickly to pick up the offenders there would be no need for the burden placed on local police to do the job of the Federal government, a job which costs money and police time.

This dramatic switch changed Maricopa county from the most strict adherence to anti-immigrant policies to the most lenient in the state of Arizona.

An ICE statement the next day said the policy change represented an "immediate, dangerous change."

Colorful career of Arpaio

The sheriff, who was a staunch supporter of then-candidate Donald Trump, instituted the policy of only feeding inmates twice a day and using “food rescue” (garbage normally collected as pig feed) as a source of much of the jail’s daily menu.

In a move to humiliate prisoners Sheriff Arpaio, who came down heavily on drug violations, not just illegal immigrants, changed the prison uniform to pink, pink jumpsuits and pink underwear.

In 1993 Sheriff Arpaio expanded his jail facilities to accommodate the increased number of inmates by building a tent city he himself referred to as a “concentration camp.” There is no air conditioning in "tent city" which is located in the Arizona Desert where summer daytime temperatures reach 118 Degrees and the heat levels inside the tents are so high that the inmate's shoes began melting.

The US Department of Justice found Sheriff Arpaio guilty of the worse racial profiling record not just in the country, but in US history.

Sheriff Arpaio's policies cost taxpayers of his County more than $142 million in legal costs, fines, and settlements, in addition to whatever additional costs were involved in the loss of inexpensive immigrant labor and the loss of conventions and other events.

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