Arpaio’s Comeuppance Continues

As I wrote
last month, this country’s innate sense of justice and humanity
will one day revolt against the ever-harsher tactics that some
states are deploying to bring undocumented workers to heel for
failing to obtain the papers that Uncle Sam won’t give them. And
when it comes to America’s most notorious sheriff and “illegal
immigrant” baiter, Joe Arpaio, this is already happening as Lucy

The Justice Department has already documented the reign of
terror that Arpaio has unleashed against the Hispanic community in
Arizona’s Maricopa County. And now adding to Arpaio’s woes is
Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, whose case initially drew national
attention to Arpaio’s tactics. She was shackled before and after
delivery and  managed to escape her chains during her
C-section only because a detention officer took pity on her and
removed her leg restraint. She has filed a federal civil rights
lawsuit against Arpaio.

But Miriam is hardly the only pregnant undocumented worker who
has been subjected to Arpaio’s tender mercies. As Stephen Lemon of
the Phoenix New Times
points out

[S]uch atrocities are only new to the world outside Arizona.
Inside this state, the MCSO’s penchant for
shackling pregnant women is well-known to

My colleague Valeria Fernandez documented a far worse case in a
2009 article for New Times. 

In 2008, Alma Chacon was chained by her hands and feet to a
hospital bed while in MCSO custody. You can read Chacon’s story in

Shackling pregnant women is contrary to the policies of the
Arizona Department of Corrections, ICE, the U.S. Marshal’s Service,
the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, etc.

As Lucy noted, Arpaio has already cost Maricopa County $5
million in lawsuit settlements (with another
$177 million
filed by various and sundry). And Miriam’s lawsuit
suggests that the new year is not likely to bring him any

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