Sheriff Joe Arpaio swore in his new “illegal immigration posse” this past week. Latino activists are crying foul for fear of minuteman mentality being exercised against immigrants. They fear the mentality of ‘Lets go hunt Mexicans.’
According to the Daily Beast:
The group of mostly middle-aged or older white men dressed in brown uniforms with gold badges will assist Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies in such duties as “transporting illegal immigrants arrested for potential immigration violations,” “crowd control during demonstrations against the sheriff’s immigration policies” and “searching for load vehicles and drop houses.”
Sheriff Joe also positioned his new posse near props that hinted of war — a helicopter, an off-road vehicle, and an armored personnel carrier with a long gun. Over half the 56 posse members were cleared to carry weapons, and all had received training in illegal immigration enforcement, Arpaio announced during the ceremony.
Latino activists accuse Sheriff Joe of trying to take the attention off some of his legal problems which have arisen from some of his extreme measures in dealing with illegal immigrants. He is currently under several on-going investigations.
In early November, Maricopa County deputized 6 federal agents to look into other abuses of power such as funneling money from one account into cash strapped operations like immigration enforcement. Sheriff Joe is being investigated now for keeping 2 sets of books. Arpaio is already under investigation for abuse of power and civil rights violations.
Danny Ortega, a Phoenix attorney and chairman of the board of the National Council of La Raza fears that the possee will attract those who are ’emotionally attracted’ to immigration enforcement and the volatility that such an attachment could give rise to.
And if there weren’t enough of a show with the Sheriff and his newly formed posse, The Beast further reports:
Two new posse members are actually minor movie stars—action figure Steven Seagal and Lou Ferrigno, the former Incredible Hulk, who doesn’t even live in Arizona.Arpaio had named Ferrigno an “honorary deputy” in May so the Hulk could “bodyguard” the sheriff when he spoke at a friendly Tea Party rally. The bodyguard gig boosted publicity for both the sheriff and Ferrigno, who sells t-shirts and exercise equipment on line. Ferrigno says he’s signed on to the illegal immigration posse because he wants to support Arpaio’s efforts to curb illegal immigration.
So now the Incredible Hulk is part of the posse. All we need is a green beef up suit to make things completely bizarro-world.