Reaction to the U.S. Department of Justice racial-profiling lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office:
"We applaud the Department of Justice and Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez for pressing forward with their investigation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. For too long, rather than fairly enforcing the law, Arpaio has been living above the law ... The Justice Department has gone the extra mile in seeking agreement with Arpaio's department over training procedures, data collection methods, and an outreach to Arizona's Latino community. The sheriff's flat refusal to cooperate with the Department of Justice makes clear he places his ego over the interests of the residents of Maricopa County. Arpaio's tenure in office has been an embarrassment to Arizona, to the country, and to the rule of law. We hope that this lawsuit will ultimately lead to his removal from office."
--Angela M. Kelley, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C., think tank.
"It is very clear a dispute has broken out between the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, and it's forcing a dilemma for the White House. The DOJ is arriving late to a civil rights crime scene caused in large part by the Department of Homeland Security. Janet Napolitano got Arpaio his immigration badge when she was governor, and rather than correct her mistake as Secretary of DHS, she chose to create more Arpaios by expanding the dangerous 'Secure Communities' (SCOMM) program throughout the country. The case of Joe Arpaio demonstrates Secretary Napolitano's decision to make police 'force multipliers' in the immigration context has multiplied the force of civil rights violations. The DOJ action today will heighten demands on the White House to intervene and suspend Secure Communities."
--Chris Newman, legal director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
"We all owe a great deal of gratitude to the civil rights workers of Arizona who have raised their crisis to the fore. Sheriff Arpaio is the best argument against the immigration status quo. His continued stay in office is warning to all of us facing the Arizonification of our towns and an urgent call for federal action. The president's legacy on immigration thus far has been defined by DHS's criminalizing immigrants instead of legalizing them. We hope his stance evolves."
--Pablo Alvarado, executive director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
"(Sheriff Joe) Arpaio has shown a total willingness to use his power for all the wrong reasons: to punish hardworking people who come to this country to make better lives for themselves and their families. I hope the Supreme Court follows the Justice Department's lead and strikes down Arizona's anti-immigration law."
--Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, a member of the national Fair Immigration Reform Movement.
"This is our victory. Join in celebrating it, but know that it's the first step."
--Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox
"The wheels of justice move slow. But they're still moving. And in this case, our community has been waiting close to four years for today, with a lawsuit that's finally filed against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Make no mistake, that our community has been under the cloud of fear for far too long. And this lawsuit in large part validates the fear that we have felt."
--Daniel Ortega, Phoenix lawyer, immigrant advocate and board chair of National Council of La Raza
"This is truly a positive first step for getting justice for all the victims of (Sheriff Joe) Arpaio's illegal actions, his disregard for the U.S. Constitution, violations of Latinos' civil rights and the rule of law .... and it is time not only for action by the federal government in every capacity possible but also by the citizens of Maricopa County to remove this tyrant and return the power to the people."
--John Rowan, Democratic candidate for Maricopa County Sheriff.
"Today he announced he's going to change everything he does. C'mon, Joe Arpaio, for 20 years you haven't changed anything. What we have to do is ask the Justice Department to also stop the politics and get rid of Joe Arpaio by indicting him criminally for everything he's done so far."
--Sal Reza, Phoenix immigrant-rights activist.
"The days of political cover-up are over ... It is time to shed some light on what's really going on at the Sheriff's Office. The allegations of abuse, intimidation, corruption - light is going to shine all of that."
--State Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix.
"Today we've seen the Justice Department take its ultimate step, and that is to file a protracted, very expensive, time consuming lawsuit against sheriff's officials ... He knew and has known for over three years he's committing civil rights violations. He knows he's not compliance with the civil rights laws that apply even in the jails. He knows all this. He has continued because we've had a silent majority, a largely silent majority, that will not take him on to make him stop the malpractice he exercised as a law enforcement officer ... It's time for the people of Maricopa County to say, 'That's enough. These are our taxpayer dollars you've been messing with. These are our citizens in this state and in this county you've been messing with. You have no right to do any of this'."
--Antonio Bustamante, Phoenix civil rights attorney, member of Los Abogados, a Hispanic bar association.
"Sheriff Arpaio has targeted the Latino community for years in violation of his sworn duties as a law enforcement officer. Instead of focusing on the job he was elected to do, he has spent untold taxpayer dollars building his personal reputation at the expense of his own community's safety. The more than 400 sex-crime cases he allowed to go uninvestigated were apparently not the end of his professional misconduct. Since this federal investigation began, he has shown profound disrespect not only for the people he serves, but for the federal officials who have tried in good faith to get simple answers to simple questions about his conduct. His disregard for duty and justice has eroded public trust in his office, and DOJ has rightly taken action to end the culture of profiling and retaliation he created at taxpayer expense."
--U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz.