democracynow.org - The controversy around Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is growing by the day. In a scathing report, the Justice Department has accused Arpaio of "wide-ranging discrimination against Latinos", leading federal authorities to suspend Arpaio’s access to programs under which undocumented immigrants are handed over from his jail for deportation. "The federal government was using Arpaio as a sort of showcase for its 287(g) program in allowing local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws ... but it failed miserably," says Stephen Lemons, a reporter for the Phoenix New Times. Arpaio has faced growing calls to resign amidst mounting evidence that his police department failed to properly investigate more than 400 sex-crime and homicide cases. On Monday, an immigrant woman sued Arpaio for cruel and unusual punishment because she was shackled to her hospital bed before and after delivering her child by Caesarean section in police custody. And a Latino Army veteran died Tuesday after he was found unresponsive in his jail cell with taser marks on his body. Arpaio has vowed not to resign and says he plans to run for re-election next year. "People are literally dying because of the culture of intimidation, harassment and discrimination taking place in those jails," says Randy Parraz of Citizens for a Better Arizona. "What is even more shameful is this culture of silence by Republican leaders, from the governor on down, who refuse to take a stand and [are] basically saying Latinos do not matter in the state of Arizona."
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