By Michelle Ye Hee Lee August 23 at 12:03 AM , Washington Post

This is an extensive article, and only a small portion is here. Please read this prior to forming a judgment on Joe Arpaio’s actions.

Fact Checker Analysis
What you need to know about former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s record on illegal immigration

President Trump spoke about possibly pardoning former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff Joe Arpaio during a rally in Phoenix on Aug. 22. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt in July. (The Washington Post)
“Do people in this room like Sheriff Joe? … I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine, okay?”
— President Trump, rally in Phoenix, Aug. 22

“He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him. … Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?”
— Trump, quoted on Fox News, Aug. 13

At his Aug. 22 rally in Phoenix, President Trump heaped praise on longtime ally and campaign surrogate Joe Arpaio, the embattled former sheriff from Arizona. While he didn’t announce a presidential pardon at the rally, he indicated he was ready to offer it.

For many years, Trump and Arpaio shared a pet issue: the “birther” theory. Trump was a vocal proponent of it, until he abandoned it during the 2016 presidential campaign and then falsely blamed Hillary Clinton for starting the conspiracy. Arpaio and his volunteer “cold-case posse” perpetuated the conspiracy for six years until Arpaio was voted out of office in 2016.
As Trump made illegal immigration a key campaign issue, he once again found a willing ally in Arpaio, whose anti-immigrant practices catapulted him to national prominence. And now, Trump is considering a presidential pardon for the self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” who faces six months of jail following a criminal conviction relating to his policing practices targeting Latinos.

Whether Arpaio has done more than any other local law enforcement to crack down on illegal immigration is Trump’s opinion, and not fact-checkable. But it’s important to look at the full context of Arpaio’s history of legal woes stemming from his illegal-immigration policies.

The Facts

This is a complex saga. We’ll focus on the initial key moments in 2008, and then jump to the potential presidential pardon in 2017.

Arpaio and his supporters often dismiss the years-long federal investigations as a partisan witch hunt under Barack Obama, but the FBI’s probe began as early as 2008, at the end of the George W. Bush administration.
Arpaio, who became sheriff in 1993, quickly became known for his unorthodox practices, such as requiring inmates to wear pink underwear, work on chain gangs and live in an outdoors “Tent City” jail even during the scorching Phoenix summers. In the early 2000s, Arpaio shifted to take on illegal immigration, which raised his national profile.

But the new effort came at a cost. Arpaio’s deputies started arresting hundreds of illegal immigrants, after entering into a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security. The sheriff’s office blew through its budget on immigration efforts while violent crimes, including sex crimes, went uninvestigated. The office eventually reopened more than 400 sex crimes investigations from 2005 to 2008 — during which the agency built up its human-smuggling unit while its special-victims unit went disproportionately understaffed.

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