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Maricopa County Sheriff fits right in with Arizona's new immigration bill

Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio's dream has come true -- and it has nothing to do with the humiliating pink underwear he makes inmates wear.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed a bill that allows police officers to detain and interrogate people who may appear to be undocumented migrants. This is something Arpaio had been endorsing anyway. Banner

Critics of the bill are concerned that the law encourages racial profiling. 

Some police officers fear that the bill may discourage cooperation with law enforcement, the Washington Post is reporting.

The controversial SB 1070 also creates criminal penalties for immigration violations (Here are some key provisions).

The law goes into effect at the end of the legislative session in July or August.

There is speculation that the GOP's support of the law is a political risky move meant to energize Republicans going into the November elections, the Christian Monitor is reporting.

13 Can you smell what Arpaio is cooking?

The day the bill was signed he said in a radio show  that this was a good time for him to consider running for governor in the Republican primary in August.

Arpaio is a man of many traits, he published a book where he calls himself "America's Toughest Sheriff."  In his website, he proudly features pictures with celebrities and even has his signature pink underwear and handcuffs for sale

Arizona Senator John McCain, who is backing the bill and voted against making Martin Luther King's birthday a federal holiday, said he approves of Arpaio.

"Look rounding up people and taking them back is fine," said McCain referring to Arpaio's activities earlier this year. 

At a U.S. naturalization ceremony Friday, President Barack Obama called the measure misguided. And if that is the case, then Arpaio has been misguided for years.

The 2009 Democracy Now newscast below features experts discussing Maricopa County Sheriff's crime prevention programs and his controversial handling of jail operations.


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