Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced July 20 that he will be opening a new section of his tent city jail, just for those convicted under Arizona’s new immigration law. The new section of the outdoor jail will be called “section 1070,” according to a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
The new section will be arranged inside the existing tent city area in south Phoenix, since expanding the boundaries of tent city would require approval from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, with which the sheriff has had high-profile public fights involving budget issues.
But the board of supervisors told the Arizona Capitol Times before Arpaio’s announcement that any changes to tent city would need to meet safety and liability requirements, and that despite his assertion that he gets the final say on what happens at his jail, the board needs to provide the proper checks on his practices.
Arpaio will hold a press conference to formally announce and display his tent city addition at 3 p.m. July 21. The announcement coincides with the 17-year anniversary of the opening of tent city. The sheriff’s office will be giving “hot chocolate cake” to all the inmates to celebrate the anniversary. A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said all media except the Phoenix New Times is welcome.