Arizona’s controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio heads to court to day to answer to charges that his immigration patrols violated the civil rights of Latinos and conducted illegal immigration checks.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that Arpaio and his patrols based some traffic stops on the fact that occupants were Latino without having probable cause and conducted those stops in order to determine their immigration status. The lawsuit also alleges that legal and illegal immigrants were unlawfully detained.
Some of the plaintiffs in the suit were stopped by patrols while others were detained and arrested in immigration sweeps. In the sweeps, Maricopa County officers would flood areas, some known to be predominately Latino, in order to arrest offenders and conduct traffic stops.
Arpio who has staked his reputation on the crackdown of illegal immigration in Maricopa County, says the lawsuit is akin to political retaliation on President Obama’s behalf. However, the actual racial profiling investigation was launched in 2007, a year before Obama took office.
If Arpaio loses his civil case, he faces no jail time or fines, but simply an admission that his department unfairly targeted Latinos.
An unlawful presence makes immigrants vulnerable to detention and deportation. An immigration attorney can present an effective defense against deportation, and in some instances allow the detainee to stay in the country.
Immigrants are encouraged to avoid being caught up in the deportation process by allowing an immigration lawyer to work on obtaining the necessary legal documents. Temporary work or visitation visas allow a person the establish residency opening the door to potential citizenship.
Immigration attorneys understand all the requirements necessary for a person to become legally recognized resident and will bolster their chances of becoming naturalized.