Our guest blogger is Sam Holdren, a social worker and progressive activist in Arizona.
The hypocrisy of anti-immigrant hardliners is becoming epidemic. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio defended fellow anti-immigrant hardliner Lou Dobbs Saturday after speaking at the Tucson Tea Party Rally about how tough he is on fighting illegal immigration. An investigation by The Nation revealed that Dobbs, who launched an all out assault on immigrants and the people who hire them while serving as an anchor at CNN, has relied for years on illegal labor to maintain multi-million dollar estate.
Following his speech, the Arizona sheriff downplayed the need to enforce immigration laws that target employers who hire undocumented workers, at least when it comes to his pal Dobbs.
In an on the spot interview, Arpaio proudly asserted that his department is the only agency enforcing Arizona’s employer sanctions laws, designed to punish people who hire undocumented laborers.
“I’m still the only law enforcement agency doing that,” said the Sheriff, “So I take it serious.”
But when asked about the allegations against Dobbs and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Arpaio changed his tune, suggesting the focus on immigration is purely political:
Let me put it this way. Years ago, before this became a big, big political situation, nobody cared. Many people hired illegals. They don’t know who they are. When you have a construction company and guys are digging up the ground. What do you do? You go up and say, you take the word of the owner of the place. So I don’t know what Lou Dobbs did. So if he did, so what?
Who would ever think the world’s toughest sheriff, particularly someone who has made it his mission to enforce immigration laws, would so casually dismiss the practice of hiring undocumented workers? Add another name to the immigration hypocrite list.