President Trump values loyalty and he values Americans who are strong on the border. He values law and order. Put all that together, and it’s no surprise to learn that he’s thinking about using the powers of the presidential pardon to get Sheriff Joe Arpaio out of hot water.
In an interview with Fox News this weekend, Trump said he was not happy about what had been done to Arpaio, the former sheriff who has now been found guilty of criminal contempt of court. The conviction came down when the Maricopa County sheriff refused to obey a judge’s order to stop pulling people over on suspicion of being in the country illegally.
“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Trump said. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”
Trump indicated that he would issue the pardon in the next week or so if he concludes that it’s the right thing to do.
We hope that he does so. While we don’t necessarily approve of anyone who violates the law, the truth is that sometimes there is the greater good to be considered. And the truth is that Arpaio understands that. The LAW is that people are not supposed to be in this country without invitation. Without going through the proper immigration channels. And in his position as sheriff, he had every right to make sure that the LAW was being followed. Maybe he temporarily violated the judge’s 2011 order to stop the traffic patrols. No, he does not deserve to spend six months in jail for that. Frankly, he doesn’t even deserve to have the conviction on his record.
“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?” asked Trump. “He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”
No he doesn’t. It’s fairly astounding, when you think about it. Sheriff Arpaio is facing a possible jail sentence for doing everything in his power to enforce U.S. immigration law. Meanwhile, we have police officials in 300 cities all over the U.S. who – BY POLICY – do just the opposite. Police who refuse to cooperate with federal detainer requests. Police who refuse to lift the slightest finger to help put these illegal immigrants back on the other side of the border. And that’s not a crack at the police, many of whom would love nothing more. It’s not them, it’s the sanctuary policies they’re working under. Nonetheless, the whole situation is madness.
Pardoning Arpaio is the right thing to do, and it would send a powerful message that is consistent with the Trump agenda. Would it bring criticism from the left? Obviously. Would America as a whole disapprove? We really don’t think so.