Thursday, June 19, 2014
Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is frequently in the news. Last year, a federal court found that his office had engaged in a pattern and practice of unconstitutional behavior in the name of immigration enforcement, including the racial profiling of Latinos.
Yesterday, several Maricopa County residents, joined by immigrant rights and civil rights groups, filed a new class-action lawsuit, Puente Arizona v. Arpaio, which challenges the County’s enforcement of two state laws that turn immigrants into felons simply for working to provide for their families.
The suit comes almost five years to the day from when young Katherine Figueroa brought national attention to Arpaio’s raids through a YouTube plea to President Obama after she witnessed both her parents being arrested at a raid on live television. That day marked the beginning of a long and courageous fight by Katherine to reunite her family.
A full list of attorneys on the case includes Professors Annie Lai and Sameer Ashar of the UC Irvine Law Immigrant Rights Clinic; Jessica Karp of NDLON; Dan Pochoda of the ACLU Foundation of Arizona; and Ray Ybarra Maldonado of the Law Office of Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado.