Trudging through the contagious insanity that runs rampant throughout government, I often feel as if the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Catching up on the news of the day and discussing trends in politics, it can be easy to feel exhausted by the antics of those who are supposed to represent us. Occasionally, however, I feel vindicated when a public servant has the guts to stand up against unchecked lunacy. In these rare to find moments, I feel relief to know that not all is lost.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America”, has announced that following President Obama’s creation of an “anything goes” immigration policy, he will be bound by Arizona law, and thus, will continue with his controversial and effective immigration enforcement policies.
Of course, Sheriff Joe is best known for his many controversial methods of law enforcement. While he is constantly under attack by those that value the privileges of criminals over the enforcement of laws, Sheriff Joe has been re-elected every four years since 1992. His popularity amongst Arizona citizens has remained high, while his popularity amongst those in ivory towers, shielded from the dangers of living right on the border, has remained strained. His more notable controversies have included his zealous enforcement of immigration laws and his lack of frills regarding prisoner privileges, including serving bologna sandwiches, issuing pink underwear, and- my personal favorite- assuaging overcrowding concerns by erecting a “tent city” from surplus military tents that were good enough for our soldiers.
Obama, in a desperate attempt to buy Hispanic votes, announced yesterday that he will bypass congressional authority to halt the deportation of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and allow them to apply for work permits. His executive order is a direct reversal of his previous position on the issue of executive action for immigration reform. In 2011, Obama stated:
“With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed… Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”
Alas, here we are. It is absolutely shameful.
While Obama’s blatant betrayal of his oath to uphold American law has rightfully outraged many, Sheriff Joe has stated his intentions to continue honoring his oath and upholding Arizona law.
“I’m going to continue to enforce all our illegal immigration laws,” Arpaio said. “I think the people of Mexico are going to feel, ‘Hey, come on in’ and we’ll get by with it, but it won’t happen in this county, they will be arrested.”
While political pundits’ comments regarding Obama’s pandering have been frequent and vivid, there has been little attention paid to those that still feel bound to uphold the law, regardless of political motivations. Those that value the sovereignty of our nation’s borders would love to see a strong enforcement of immigration policy, but we must be contented, for the time being, by elected officials at the local and state levels carrying the burden the federal government will not. While Obama’s proclamation was certainly a step in the wrong direction, it is satisfying to know that there are still public servants willing to do what we hired them to do.