DALLAS, Texas — Sheriff Joe Arpaio, often dubbed “America’s toughest sheriff,” will be the keynote speaker at the Kaufman County Tea Party’s annual “Don’t Mess With Texas” fundraiser on Saturday evening, September 20. The Maricopa County Arizona lawman is never afraid to speak his mind and he did just that with Breitbart Texas, giving a glimpse into the many topics he will address during his Texas visit.
Arpaio commented on a petition he filed on September 4, asking the federal government about the release of illegal aliens charged with criminal offenses back onto the streets of Maricopa County.
It is a letter that he has written every month for the past eight months to the Inspector General and to the head of Homeland Security, repeating his intention to “renew for a congressional investigation if answers and actions are not met.” Those inquiries have gone unanswered.
These are not petty crimes that are of concern to him. “In August alone, one illegal alien with 12 prior arrests, including four ICE detainers, was arrested yet again, and this time on attempted murder charges. That crime was hardly unique in its violence or seriousness, for many illegal aliens have been charged with committing every variety of crime including kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, child molestation, sexual abuse, conspiracy, dangerous drugs, and more,” a news release issued by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office stated.
Arpaio told Breitbart Texas that he started to take a survey, an internal investigation of those in the jail for all different types of crimes. He wanted to see how many of the incarcerated were illegals. That number was 3,500 and he turned that information over to ICE.
“Thirty six percent have come back to the jail over and over again,” he said, questioning that “when you turn these criminals over to the government,what are they doing with them? Are they deporting them and do they keep coming back (to the United States), or do they let them out the backdoor to roam the streets?”
Undaunted by the continued lack of a response from federal officials, the sheriff continues to push for an answer as to why the illegals keep coming back to his jail. He said that that these “illegal immigrants are violating their own criteria of the type of crimes that must be deported.”
Arpaio added, “This is a serious situation that the people of the United States and Maricopa County should know about. They should know why all these guys are roaming the streets when they should be deported,” he said, underscoring the complete lack of media coverage received on this issue, even locally in Arizona.
The sheriff runs the third largest jail system in the nation in the sixth largest US County, wearing two hats — as jailer and as chief law enforcement officer. In August, he celebrated the 21st anniversary of his Tent City, that was constructed as additional inmate housing out of Korean War tents.
Critics like Amnesty International and the ACLU attacked him along the way, although the sheriff’s won all the challenges and lawsuits against Tent City. Still, the outspoken Arpaio continues to stick to his convictions and is a lightening rod who stands by his trademark practices of making inmates wear pink underwear and eat baloney sandwiches. He told Breitbart Texas, “When people violate the law, they go to jail. Should it be the Hilton Hotel?”
Arpaio has also been vocal about his concerns over the influx of illegals coming through the US Southwestern border. He questioned, “We have CIA, State Department, and US ambassadors, how come nobody knew that 35,000-40,000 people were coming to and crossing that border? Are we saying that the intelligence networks we have knew nothing and if they did, why wasn’t anything done about it? If they didn’t know about it, we’ve got a big problem.”
Fox News reported that a senior US Homeland Security official confirmed that ISIS is planning to infiltrate the US southern border. The sheriff told Breitbart Texas, “We need to be prepared and do something about that border.
He suggested putting military on both sides of the US-Mexican border. It is a philosophy that works for stopping terrorists and drug traffickers before they reach the border, not once they get to the border and get across the border into the United States, he said. “That’s how you do it but I don’t see much talk about that coming from the State Department or the President.”
Arpaio worked for 32 years as a federal official and as a sheriff. He told Breitbart Texas that the goal is to shrink the porous border way down and secure it but it is unrealistic to think that it will be completely closed.
Another strategy to better secure the border is to cut off foreign funding to countries like Mexico. Arpaio said that this was the strategy behind Operation Intercept, which he was involved in with G. Gordon Liddy in 1969 to stop drug trafficking.
“President Nixon was fed up with the drugs coming into the US and told Mexico he’d take away their foreign aid,” he commented. “My job was to stop the drugs before they got into the United States.”
He has a lot more to say to Texas and will do just that at the Kaufman County Tea Party’s fundraiser on Saturday, September 20 at 7pm. Advanced and door ticket sale info and prices are online. There are also sponsor packages that include a private reception with the sheriff. There will be a silent auction.
Arpaio will also be the guest speaker at the NE Tarrant Tea Party’s annual fundraiser the night before, Friday, September 19. Main event tickets are still available.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.