On Friday, Puente Movement in Arizona launched "Arrest Arpaio Not the People," a campaign which seeks to get Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrested and charged with criminal offenses for the abuse of immigrant detainees. The group protested in front of the Sheriff’s office and said today’s protest Is the first of what will become bi-monthly rallies until the Arpaio is brought to justice,

"Our children deserve to grow up without nightmares of Arpaio and his ski-masked sheriffs. Federal immigration programs in Maricopa County took Arpaio’s long track record of abuse and launched it to monstrous proportions," explained Carlos Garcia of the Puente Movement in a prepared statement. "Sheriffs are not above the law. Arpaio needs to be brought to justice for what he’s done to our communities.

The Puente Movement issued the following demands which will be the centerpiece of on-going mobilizations they promise will focus not only on the Sheriff but also on Arpaio’s collaborators.

  1. End Arpaio’s Access to ICE: The Maricopa County Sheriff Office’s access to immigration enforcement powers should be completely ended by President Obama and ICE.
  2. Arrest Arpaio, Not The People: Joe Arpaio should face criminal charges for what he has done to our communities. Sheriffs are not above the law, and any criminal conduct by Joe Arpaio must be fully prosecuted.
  3. Shutdown Tent City: The outdoor facility that Sheriff Arpaio once referred to as a "concentration camp" is one of the worst and most abusive jails in the country and should be closed.
  4. End all aiding and abetting of Sheriff Arpaio: Faced with overwhelming evidence of his unlawful behavior, Sheriff JoeArpaio’s supporters have a moral obligation to sever their ties or otherwise be complicit in his human and civil rights abuses.

(Photos courtesy of Puente Movement/Diane Ovalle)