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Latina conference to Arizona sheriff: Stay away

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin,File)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin,File)

America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff has been told to stay away from a national Latina conference when it comes to Phoenix.

Organizers with the National Hispanic Women’s Conference told Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio this week that he is not wanted when the Phoenix Convention Center hosts the event. The conference, which is expected to attract hundreds across the country, begins Thursday.

The group also denied a booth to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to recruit potential new employees and returned an $800 entry fee.

In a statement, the group says its decision was based on a recent court ruling that for years MCSO engaged in racial profiling against Latinos.

“The conference is about leading and inspiring Latina professionals,” said Leticia de la Vara, a spokeswoman for the event. “Arpaio does not fit that mold, so it was a pretty easy decision on why we would go forward with that.”

De la Vara added that if Arpaio is trying to mend fences with the Hispanic community their convention isn’t the place to do it.

“He has built quite a big wall between us and his office because of the raids and the path he’s taken to approach how he’s going to work with the Hispanic community,” de la Vara stated.

Arpaio says he didn’t think it was fair for the group to take out its dislike of him on his employees. He says 24 percent of his office is Latino.

“I have been reaching out more or less to the Hispanic community and I am a little discouraged that this lady turned me down, sent the check back, because she thinks I am too high profile when you are dealing with the Hispanic community,” Arpaio told KSAZ-TV.

Known for jailing inmates in tents and making prisoners wear pink underwear, Arpaio started doing immigration enforcement in 2006 amid Arizona voter frustration with the state’s role as the nation’s busiest illegal entryway.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ruled earlier this year that Arpaio’s office systematically singled out Latinos in its immigration patrols and deputies unreasonably prolonged the detentions of people who were pulled over.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

5 comments

  1. Good for the National Hispanic Women’s Conference! Joe Arpaio is not the “star” that he thinks he is. Most of the media attention afforded to him is because he is a spectacle; not because he is a respected professional in his field.

  2. Good for the National Hispanic Women’s Conference. It’s great to see these women speak truth to “power?”. You don’t need a racist, bigoted county sheriff at your event. As you stated, there are other venues for he can pursue if he cares about Hispanic women, mothers and their children.

  3. We, at eLatinaVoices, commend the National Hispanic Women’s Conference for letting Sheriff Arpaio know that through his actions, he disenfranchised the Latino community by racially profiling. It will take much more than attendance at a conference to repair the damage he has done to the Latino community and by not investigating crimes against children/women. Equality under the law must be adhered to. Sheriff Arpaio’s there are consequences for your actions and your check is insufficient!

  4. #3. Thank you for comment and strong response. The Hispanic women, children and their families have been decimated for years in Arizona under a dangerous racist regime that puts ALL at risk as well. We have been waiting to here your voices and applaud your efforts to make better lives for yourselves in the face of your daily ongoing hardships.

  5. #3. Thank you for comment and strong response. The Hispanic women, children and their families have been decimated for years in Arizona under a dangerous racist regime that puts ALL at risk as well. We have been waiting to hear your voices and applaud your efforts to make better lives for yourselves in the face of your daily ongoing hardships. (correction, replaces #4)

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