[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Neil Cavuto had on Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona to talk about his plans to form an all-volunteer, fully armed posse whose job is hunting down illegal immigrants -- and of course tossed him a load of softballs.
The local news account is fairly glowing too:
Sheriff Joe is always talking about his department’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration but now he wants to commission a posse whose only job will be to enforce illegal immigration and human smuggling laws.Funny thing about that: Maricopa County is not adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border. Border crossers would have to pass through adjacent counties first.
The sheriff explains, “We have 57 different posses. I want 58.”
Arpaio says posse 58 will be devoted solely to illegal immigration. “I want a little specialized unit. I think it's time to do that.”
Details are sparse but, like the sheriff's other posses, this one will be made up of armed volunteers who will patrol rural areas looking for border crossers and human smugglers.
The sheriff explains, “I want to concentrate more in the desert, maybe that’s where our air posse helicopters can help out because a lot of smugglers are crossing the desert. I like to get to them before they get to Phoenix.”
But you'll notice that both Cavuto's softballs and the friendly local press are missing something -- namely, how closely Arpaio's citizen immigrant hunters resemble the vigilante patrols being organized by neo-Nazi J.T. Ready -- who recently announced that he would be seeking to obtain official sanction for his program.
At least Stephen Lemons at Phoenix New Times noticed:
Looks like Sheriff Joe is ripping off an idea from none other than Arpaio supporter and committed neo-Nazi J.T. Ready.As Lemon notes, it already appears that Arpaio has a working relationship with Ready and his acolytes.
In a press release published today by the MCSO, Arpaio says he intends to commission a volunteer vigilante force to hunt illegal aliens.
The release states, "The Sheriff will soon implement his plan to commission a volunteer armed posse force outfitted with appropriate hardware and gear to assist in the enforcement of illegal immigration and human smuggling laws."
... In any case, an "armed" vigilante force "outfitted with the appropriate hardware" to "assist" in the enforcement of immigration laws could well be a description of swastika-licker J.T. Ready's U.S. Border Guard, which has been operating in Pinal and Maricopa Counties since at least June.
Somebody needs to ask Arpaio if the "screening" process he promises for these armed volunteers will include screening out neo-Nazis and violent radicals.
In the meantime, anyone of Latino descent -- citizen or otherwise -- may want to avoid Maricopa County's rural areas. They may soon become hazardous to your health.