Recently I was asked to comment on the trial of Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is currently on trial, along with his sheriff’s office, for alleged civil rights violations against Latino residents of the 9200 square mile central Arizona county. From my perspective as a transplanted Southwesterner in the heart of the American Midwest in Iowa City, the Sheriff Joe Show would have been a number one show for Paddy Chayefsky’s imaginary media conglomerate UBS’s creative directors in the award winning film, “Network.” The Teflon Sheriff has captured the imaganation, celebration and vilification of editors, bloggers, citizens, and the media for two decades but continues to enjoy huge support in Maricopa County, one of America’s Sunbelt hotspots for crime, economic depression, human smuggling, drug trafficking, and labor explotation.
Part one of my three part series on Sheriff Joe Arapio, the trial, media, and my perspective on American immigration policy since 1965, was published today in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. I believe this coversation is at the core of our national politics, the November presidential election, and our future as a nation. My perspective begins with my childhood growing up in Los Angeles, is shaped by a life lived on both coasts, the Southwest, and now today, in the heart of our nation, Iowa, where immigration from all corners of the globe have and continue to shape this agricultural eden since the first emmigrant’s plow broke its prairie soil in the early nineteenth century.
Below is the link to the story in today’s Iowa City Press-Citizen: