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President Trump had comforting words for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona Tuesday night:
“I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine. Okay? But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy. Is that okay? All right? But Sheriff Joe can feel good.”
Trump alluded to rumors that he plans to pardon Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt in federal court in July. A judge ruled that Arpaio had defied a court order requiring him to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants in his jurisdiction. The conviction carries up to a six-month jail sentence.
Trump supporters cheered when the president alluded to the prospect of a pardon. But how are immigrants’ rights supporters responding to the president’s remarks? And how would a pardon for Arpaio, who built a reputation on racial profiling, impact the current conversation on race & racism?
- Jude Joffe-Block Reporter based in Phoenix; fellow, New America; former senior field correspondent, KJZZ in Phoenix and Fronteras Desk, a network of stations covering immigration and border issues in the Southwest
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