16 July 2005

You don't have the right to point guns at people because of the color of their skin

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's call on this incident is the correct one.
What issue could unite Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of Latino activist groups? Surprisingly, it's Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' handling of the Patrick Haab case.

Haab held seven undocumented immigrants at gunpoint on April 10. When county sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene, they arrested both the aliens and Haab, charging Haab with assault with a deadly weapon.

In the following days, Haab gave several differing explanations for why he held the aliens at gunpoint. Sometimes, he claimed self-defense; other times, he claimed simply to have been enforcing the immigration laws.

Federal law clearly states that only a local, state or federal law enforcement officer may perform an arrest for the crime of smuggling aliens. Is it really OK for any individual to hold another at gunpoint, for a perceived infraction that does not have anything to do with self defense?

I think Mr. Thomas is playing politics here, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Rick Romley.