Good news in the Latino community for those who were victims of racial profiling and subsequently illegally detained.
Latino victims who were racially targeted and illegally detained, by former Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, during the period of late December 2011 and late May 2013, will receive compensation.
In 2011, a court ordered then-Sheriff, Joseph M. Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Arizona, to cease illegal immigration patrols. Ex-Sheriff, Joseph M. Arpaio, a longtime opponent of illegal immigration, disobeyed the federal court injunction that was issued by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow, barring him from racial profiling and future illegal immigration patrols. A federal court later found that Arpaio’s office continued to racially profile and detain suspected illegal immigrants and had intentionally focused on Latinos.
Arizona has been known for its tough laws on illegal immigration. In June 2012, the Supreme Court amended Arizona’s SB1070, and although they did take out some key provisions, the main provision in regards to providing papers that show immigrant status was upheld. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote,
‘Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.’
Former Sheriff, Joseph M. Arpaio, advocate for Arizona’s SB1070 anti-illegal immigrant law ,has been accused several times of police misconduct not limited to abuse of power, misuse of funds, and unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, just to name a few.
In August 2016, the same federal judge who barred Sheriff Arpaio’s from racially targeting immigrants, also ordered that a compensation system be created with taxpayer funding for the victims of illegal detentions. There is a one -year application period for those seeking compensation that began on Friday.
Sheriff Arpaio’s office continued to conduct illegal immigration patrols, for 17 months despite the 2011 federal court order to discontinue. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt as a result of it. In August 2017, the 85-year-old retired sheriff received a pardon from President Donald Trump avoiding possible jail sentencing.
Although the pardon dismissed Joseph M. Arpio from criminal contempt charges, it did not relieve taxpayers from having to fund the compensation of victims of racial profiling and illegally detaining possible illegal immigrants.
The lawyers involved in the case against Arpaio have been searching for victims and believe that at least 190 people were victims of being racially profiled and illegally detained in direct violation of the federal court order issued in 2011. They have combed over traffic-stop videos, police and arrest reports, and have asked for aid from foreign consulates trying to locate victims. An advertising campaign is planned in hopes that more victims will come forward.
The compensation system that has been put in place for Maricopa County allows a maximum of $10,000 to victims of illegal detention. Victims of illegal detention will be compensated $500 for the first hour and $35 for every 20 minute interval thereafter. The judge did say victims could also be compensated for wage loss, emotional distress, and other injuries that were a result of illegal detention.
Compensation costs of $1 million have been set aside by County officials. Costs of compensation are only a small drop in the bucket for taxpayers, as it is expected that these costs could rise up to $92 million by the summer.
Featured Image screenshot from CNN.