When it comes to the topic of immigration reform, conversations can become heated. There are people on both sides of the debate who feel very strongly about their position on the matter. Over the years, there have been protests, demonstrations, and other events that activists have used in order to advance their side of an argument.
Last year, an immigration reform bill was proposed. This bill was passed in the Senate, but failed to see the same success in the House of Representatives. Many pro-immigrant advocates were disappointed by this, and we have yet to see any type of movement in this area. Even more recently, the issue of increased children attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has made headlines. Since October of 2013, there have been more than 50,000 unaccompanied, undocumented children apprehended by Border Patrol agents.
Now, the need for immigration reform seems to be stronger than ever. Recently, there was a protest at a Tea Party event held in San Diego, outside the Ramona Mainstage theater. The guest speaker at the event was Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It was undoubtedly Arpaio who drew many protesters to the event. Arpaio is considered to be controversial and has sparked debates in the past.
While Arpaio is no stranger to conflict, there are some who agree with his feelings on border enforcement and “non-conventional law enforcement.” Some of those supporters include Tea Partiers. It has been reported that he “believes it's impossible to stop the immigrant surge without joint operations involving the Border Patrol, possibly the military, and the Mexican Army and Mexican Federal Police.” However, Arpaio has commented that he does not think that President Obama is interested in that suggestion.
Meanwhile, many who attended the demonstration in San Diego on July 26th were not big fans of Arpaio. One protester, Avery Wear, said that she believes "[m]ost people support a path to legalization and yet a few racists like these and Joe Arpaio continue to succeed in getting more troops placed on the border."
While Arpaio was doing an on-camera interview with NBC 7, the San Diego news station, he actually stopped the interview and approached some of the protesters. You can see a clip of that interview here. After talking a bit with the protesters outside of the theater, he left to give his formal talk to the audience waiting for him inside the facility. Arpaio contends that he is willing to take the heat because he is just “trying to [do his] job.”
Arpaio's history includes being elected sheriff of Maricopa County six times. He is known for his “old-fashioned” style of punishment. He is infamous for requiring all inmates' underwear dyed pink after he discovered white boxers were being stolen.
There has yet to be a clear resolution related to the border crisis and the thousands of unaccompanied minors who continue to make the voyage from other countries with the hopes of crossing the border into the U.S. Hopefully, there is relief soon and there can finally be real immigration reform in this country.