Trump pardons Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio

On August 25, 2017, President Trump granted a Presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. While the statement does not address the scope of the Presidential pardon, the context of Arpaio’s recent offense and criminal conviction is critical to inform the purpose and effect of this pardon.

Ortega Melendres v. Arpaio

In 2007, the ACLU filed a class action suit against Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in his official capacity. The suit alleged that MSCO engaged in racial profiling and arrested individuals without probable cause as to their immigration status. The ACLU stated that “the policies and practices of Arpaio and the county are discriminatory and unlawfully violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Arizona Constitution.” Read the petition.

Essentially, an warrantless arrest made without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable seizure. An officer has probable cause when the officer has within her knowledge reasonably trustworthy facts and circumstances sufficient to warrant an objective belief that the suspect has committed or is committing a crime for which arrest is authorized law. A suspicion based on the racial appearance of an individual is not a reasonably trustworthy fact that the individual is unlawfully in the country or guilty of any other offense. MCSO routinely committed stops and arrests of individuals only based on such racial profiling, which is less that the probable cause standard required by the Constitution.

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Trump signed E.O., “Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety”

This executive order establishes a task force to address “illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime.”

Section 1 of the order lays out the focus of the task force: illegal immigration. This order revolves around drug trafficking and violent crime committed by  immigrants. The Task Force will be created by the Attorney General to (1) “exchange information and ideas,” (2) “develop strategies to reduce crime,” (3) “identify deficiencies in existing laws “that are less effective in reducing crime, (4) “propose new legislation” to improve public safety and reduce crime, (5) “evaluate the availability and adequacy of crime-related data,” and (6) “identify measures that could improve data collection.”
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Trump signed E.O., “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (UPDATE: Nationwide stay ordered)

This E.O. bars Syrian refugees until “further notice,” and suspends some visa travel for 90 days

Read in full: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States

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