Sheriff Arpaio: “I should be getting a medal” for fighting illegal immigration
The controversial sheriff says if he were president, he would work with Mexico to fight illegal immigration.
Controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said on Wednesday that he deserves a medal for combating illegal immigration.
According to EFE, Arpaio said the Obama administration should be thanking him instead of investigating him during remarks to foreign press in Tampa. Arpaio is in town for the Republican National Convention and will speak tomorrow at an invitation-only event for western states.
“I should be getting a medal,” he said. “The president should invite me to the White House and thank me for all my help fighting illegal immigration and drug cartels.”
“The president and I should go to the patio, have some beers, play a little basketball, and talk,” he added, referencing the “beer summit” President Obama held with a Harvard professor and a Cambridge police officer after a dispute over racial profiling, “but that’s not going to happen.”
The sheriff has drawn the ire of immigration activists, and is under investigation for racial profiling. He has been accused of targeting Latinos and subjecting them to unlawful searches and seizures.
An avid Romney supporter, Arpaio said he hopes Romney tackles immigration reform if he is elected. He acknowledged that finding a solution to the immigration problem will not be easy, but said he hopes Congress will reach an agreement.
Arpaio said during the conference that it is of utmost importance to uphold the laws of the nation, and that anyone who violates them should go to jail.
“I am not drinking anything. I know how to fix the border problem,” he said.
The Republican party has struggled to gain the support of Latinos, in part by including hardline immigration policies in the party platform, but Arpaio supports the policies.
“The irony here is that i’ve spent all my life fighting against drug trafficking and the immigration problem, and now the Justice Department is going after me,” he said.
Arpaio also said he is willing to work with Mexico to find an immigration solution.
“If I was president, and got together with Enrique Peña Nieto, I would tell him: ‘Let’s work together. If you need more fire power, if you need help with your army or federal police, we will be happy to help you if Mexico asks for it.”
(Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore)