Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the controversial top cop in Maricopa County, Ariz., tells Newsmax he will jail any protesters who attempt to block his jail on Thursday when provisions of his state’s tough new immigration law take effect.
Arpaio also says it’s “great” if undocumented aliens react to the new law and his strict anti-illegal immigration agenda by moving back to Mexico or to the “sanctuary state” of California, and challenges President Barack Obama to invite him to the White House for a “wine summit” to discuss illegal immigration.
Arpaio, whose county includes most of the Phoenix metropolitan area, promotes himself as “America’s toughest sheriff.” He has limited county inmates to two meals a day, banned “sexually explicit material” in prison, reinstituted chain gangs, and set up a “tent city” as an extension of the Maricopa County Jail.On Wednesday a judge blocked the most controversial sections of Arizona's new law and put them on hold. The law will still take effect on Thursday, but without some of the provisions that angered opponents — including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
Nevertheless there are reports that opponents of the new law plan to block Arpaio’s jail on Thursday in an act of civil disobedience.
“There’s a rumor that they’re going to block our jails down the street,” Arpaio says in an exclusive Newsmax interview.
“You know what? They’re not going to block our jails. They’re going into the jail if they block our jail. I’m not going to succumb to these demonstrators keeping law enforcement from booking people in our jail. So we may have to take some action.”