FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 April 2009
CONTACT: Tim Bueler
AL SHARPTON CALLS FOR ARIZONA SHERIFF TO STEP DOWN
Conducting interviews on this topic is the founder and president of the Minuteman Project Jim Gilchrist.
U.S. civil rights activist Al Sharpton weighed into a fight over an Arizona sheriff's immigration sweeps on Tuesday, accusing him of racially profiling Hispanics and urging him to step down.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has dispatched deputies into Hispanic communities in the Phoenix area, where they stop people and arrest anyone who cannot prove he or she is a legal U.S. resident.
Under a deal allowing them to enforce federal immigration laws, the deputies have arrested more than 1,500 people who they determined were in Arizona illegally, triggering street protests and condemnation from Latino activists who accuse him of racial profiling.
"I am first calling for the resignation and or removal of Sheriff Arpaio ... harassment based on color is nothing short of racial profiling, which many of us ... helped to fight to make against the law," Sharpton told reporters.
U.S. Department of Justice officials recently launched an inquiry into Arpaio's activities. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee also held hearings last week about the federal program that allows for such enforcement tactics.
"Arpaio needs to be confronted, he needs to be removed. ... We also need to suspend the law that he is using. We must stand with our brown brothers and sisters," Sharpton said.
Sharpton said he would travel to Arizona to make his case.
Arpaio, who has held the job since 1992, called charges he carries out racial profiling of Hispanics ridiculous.
"I'm never going to resign," he said. "The guy is living in a fantasy land if he thinks he is going to pressure me into anything. He doesn't even know where Arizona is."
About your guest:
Jim Gilchrist founded the multi-ethnic Minuteman Project on Oct. 1, 2004, after years of frustrated efforts trying to get a neglectful U.S. government to simply enforce existing immigration laws.
Jim holds a B.A. in newspaper journalism, a B.S. in business administration, and an M.B.A. in taxation. He is a former newspaper reporter and a retired California CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
Jim is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and recipient of the Purple Heart award for wounds sustained while serving with an infantry unit in Vietnam, 1968 - 1969.
Mr. Gilchrist is a passionate defender of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and an avid supporter of law enforcement organizations. He has appeared on over 3,500 radio and TV news and commentary shows in the past twelve months, and he believes he is only one of millions of 21st century minutemen / women / children who want the U.S. to remain governed by the "rule of law" and who want proactive enforcement of our national security protections and our immigration legal code.
Jim has lived in California since 1976 and currently resides in Aliso Viejo with his wife, Sandy.