In an interview that stood in marked contrast with his recent explosive encounter with presidential candidate Donald Trump, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos featured Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio on his weekly public affairs show, Al Punto, and credited the immigration law enforcement champion for his openness and responsiveness to all his questions.
Arpaio returned Ramos’ compliment by recognizing Ramos as “a professional journalist” but immediately added “they call you an activist, too.” Throughout the verbal sparring match, the Sheriff seemed to be clearly satisfied with his ability to defend his law enforcement practices.
Arpaio revealed that approximately 30% of his employees are Hispanic, and he concluded the interview by turning the tables on Ramos, thanking him for not asking ‘whether I’m a racist.’
SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO: You didn’t asked me one thing today, and I want to thank you, because you wouldn’t get an answer and it’s whether I’m a racist. They call me racist. Here’s a guy, they say I am racist, I love the foreign people.
Ramos, for his part, reiterated to Arpaio that he’s “just a journalist that asks questions,” despite the fact that during his initial haranguing of Trump at an Iowa press conference he did not actually pose questions, but made categorical statements against Trump’s immigration policy proposals.
Discussing Trump’s proposals with Arpaio, the Sheriff stated that he shares Trump’s concerns about the significant number of violent criminals who have entered the country, clarifying at the same time, as Trump has, that they constitute a minority, not a majority, of the people who are currently living illegally in the country.
Likewise, Arpaio defended Trump’s proposal to construct a secure border wall with Mexico. The Sheriff said he disagrees with Trump, however, about a proactive mass deportation campaign, saying he only favors deporting people who, in addition to their illegal status, are arrested for committing crimes.
During another portion of the interview, Ramos cited statistics which indicate that there have been more Latinos stopped by Arpaio’s law enforcement officers than non-Hispanics, as evidence of discriminatory, racial profiling practices. Arpaio responded to the charge by pointing out that the areas in which many of his department’s enforcement actions take place are predominantly populated by Latinos, thus the demographics.
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