Washington, D.C.–Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued the following statement after the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division issued a report outlining a series of systematic civil rights violations by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. The department is headed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
“I commend Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez and the Obama administration for their painstaking work investigating these allegations, which should be of great concern to all Americans who value due process and equal protection under the law. I am troubled by reports that Latino drivers are four to nine times more likely to be stopped by Sheriff Arpaio’s officers than non-Latino drivers, and that immigrants are being locked in solitary confinement on flimsy pretenses like failing to sign forms. Even more disturbing are the dozens of reports of sexual assault, often involving children, that allegedly went uninvestigated by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
“The best way to end the scapegoating of immigrant and Latino communities by officials like Sheriff Arpaio is for Congress to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. I renew my call to my Republican colleagues to join us in enacting legislation to secure our borders, hold unscrupulous employers accountable, and require those here illegally to register with the government, pay taxes and fines, learn English and go to the end of the line to earn legal immigration status.”