Thursday, June 10, 2021
DRIVING WHILE BROWN: Sheriff Joe Arpaio versus the Latino Resistance is a new book from UC Press that fellow Arizona journalist, Terry Greene Sterling and I co-authored. It draws from our years on the ground in Maricopa County covering Arpaio’s unprecedented local immigration crackdown, and the grassroots, Latino-led coalition that organized to stop him, sued him for racial profiling and helped turn Arizona blue in 2020.
We have two upcoming book events that we hope you will consider joining.
Key to the book is the Melendres v. Arpaio (now Melendres v. Penzone) class action racial profiling lawsuit Latino motorists brought against the sheriff with the help of attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Covington & Burling. Plaintiffs alleged Arpaio’s zealous crackdown on undocumented immigrants had led deputies to unconstitutionally target and detain Latino drivers and passengers in traffic stops. A federal judge agreed. The case took surprising twists and turns. Eventually, Arpaio was found in criminal contempt of court for disobeying court orders in the case, but was spared a criminal sentence when he received former President Donald J. Trump’s first pardon.
As a reporter covering this story, along with Arizona’s wave of state immigration laws and ensuing litigation, I’ve been a longtime reader of ImmigrationProf Blog to follow immigration news, court rulings and policy changes. I also want to mention that Kevin Johnson’s 2009 Georgetown Law Review article, “How Racial Profiling in America Became the 'Law of the Land': United States v. Brignoni-Ponce and Whren v. United States and the Need for Rebellious Lawyering,” was particularly helpful for my understanding of some of the relevant case law cited in the Melendres case.
I hope fellow blog readers will find our book of interest. We look forward to your feedback!