Immigration lawyer: Arpaio pardon undermines democratic process

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TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," FALLOUT CONTINUES OVER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PARDON OF FORMER MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO. ALSO TONIGHT, A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT THE PARDON MEANS FROM A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE. AND, A CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERT TALKS ABOUT THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS THE PARDON COULD CREATE FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP. THAT'S NEXT, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. STATE AGENCIES ARE WORKING TO HELP THOSE IMPACTED BY THE DAMAGE AND FLOODING FROM HURRICANE HARVEY. THE ARIZONA NATIONAL GUARD SENT FOUR HELICOPTERS AS PART OF A NATIONAL GUARD POOL AVAILABLE TO HELP AS NEEDED. AND THE PHOENIX FIRE DEPARTMENT ACTIVATED AN 80-MEMBER URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM FOR A TWO-WEEK DEPLOYMENT IN TEXAS. THOSE PHOENIX-FIRE TEAMS HAVE HELPED IN PREVIOUS EMERGENCIES, INCLUDING THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING, THE 9-11 ATTACKS AND HURRICANE KATRINA. AND FORMER MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO SAYS HE'S CONSIDERING A CHALLENGE TO ARIZONA SENATOR JEFF FLAKE NEXT YEAR. ARPAIO'S ATTORNEYS SAY ALL OPINIONS AND VERDICTS RELATED TO THE CRIMINAL CHARGE MUST BE VACATED. THIS-

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-PROMPTED A REACTION ON ALL SIDES. THAT REACTION CONTINUES. TONIGHT, WE DEVOTE OUR ENTIRE SHOW TO THE TOPIC. WE BEGIN WITH DELIA SALVATIERRA, A LOCAL IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ARPAIO PARDON?

DELIA SALVATIERRA: I THINK THIS AN ISSUE ABOUT OUR DEMOCRACY AND THE UNDERMINING OF THE THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT. THE PARDON -- AS YOU KNOW, JOE ARPAIO WAS FOUND GUILTY BUT HE HADN’T BEEN SENTENCED. IT UNDERMINES THE JUDICIARY. TWO, HE DIDN'T GO THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO VET THIS PARDON AND THROUGH THE NORMAL PROCESS OF DOING SO. IN OUR DEMOCRACY WHEN WE WATER DOWN THE PROCESS BY WHICH WE PURSUE A DECISION, WE UNDERMINE DEMOCRACY. THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE HAVE WHEN WE ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTION, THE RULE OF LAW.

TED SIMONS: THE REACTION FROM THE LATINO COMMUNITY YES, WHAT ARE YOU HEARING, WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?

DELIA SALVATIERRA: I THINK THAT MANY ACTIVISTS, INCLUDING THOSE CLOSER TO THIS CASE, FEEL THAT THEIR TEN YEARS OF WORK ON THIS CASE HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY WIPED OUT. THAT ISN'T SO. I THINK ARPAIO WAS VOTED OUT OF OFFICE BY ARIZONA VOTERS FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. THIS CONVICTION IS THE RESULT OF ARPAIO FAILING TO FOLLOW DIRECT ORDERS OF A FEDERAL JUDGE. THIS ISN’T JUST ABOUT RACIAL PROFILING. THIS WAS ABOUT FAILURE TO ABIDE BY A DIRECTIVE FROM A FEDERAL JUDGE. I THINK THAT IS THE CLEAR UNDERMINING OF THE JUDICIARY BY ANOTHER BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT IS ALLOWING THE DISRESPECT AND THE BREAKING OF THE LAW BY AN ELECTED OFFICIAL, AN OATH HE SWORE TO UPHOLD.

TED SIMONS: IS THE POSSIBILITY OF A CLASS ACTION CIVIL SUIT OR ANY ADDITIONAL CIVIL SUITS AGAINST ARPAIO POSSIBLE EVEN WITH THE PARDON?

DELIA SALVATIERRA: SURE. IF HE WAS OPERATING UNDER THE COLOR OF LAW, HE IS SUBJECT TO CIVIL LAWSUITS. WHETHER THEY'LL BE HAD, WE'LL SEE. I THINK ARIZONA WANTS TO PUT THIS HISTORY BEHIND IT. I DON'T KNOW IF IT WILL BE ABLE TO.

TED SIMONS: REGARDING THE EFFORTS TO FIGHT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, THAT WHOLE ISSUE, HOW DOES THIS PLAY INTO THAT?

DELIA SALVATIERRA: IT PLAYS INTO THE PSYCHE OF THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY AS TO HOW LAW ENFORCEMENT IS GOING TO RESPOND TO THIS PARDON. THE L.E.A.S, LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN ARIZONA, PARTICULARLY IN MARICOPA COUNTY NEED TO HAVE A DIALOGUE ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION AND THEIR POLICING AUTHORITY. THE PARDON DOESN'T MEAN THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT IS OKAY TO RACIALLY PROFILE INDIVIDUALS TO LEAD THEM INTO THE PIPELINE FOR DEPORTATION. BECAUSE THAT’S ESSENTIALLY WHAT RACIAL PROFILING DID. IT DEFINED UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE IN ORDER TO PUT THEM INTO A PIPELINE FOR DEPORTATION.

TED SIMONS: THERE ARE REAL CONCERNS OUT THERE REGARDING THAT.

DELIA SALVATIERRA: ABSOLUTELY. THE PARDON SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE. IT SAYS THE RULE OF LAW DOESN'T MATTER, THERE IS ONE PERSON ABOVE THE LAW, AND THAT’S THE PRESIDENT AND JOE ARPAIO. REGARDLESS OF JOE ARPAIO’S LOYALTY TO THE PRESIDENT DURING HIS CAMPAIGN, THIS PROCESS AND THE PARDONING PROCESS WAS NOT APPROPRIATE. IT WAS LAWFUL, BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN IT WAS APPROPRIATE. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE POWER DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD EXERCISE IT.

TED SIMONS: PRESIDENT TRUMP DID ADDRESS THIS AND DID JUSTIFY HIS PARDON OF JOE ARPAIO. HERE IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.

VIDEO: SHERIFF JOE IS A PATRIOT. SHERIFF JOE LOVES OUR COUNTRY. SHERIFF JOE PROTECTED OUR BORDERS. SHERIFF JOE WAS UNFAIRLY TREATED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, ESPECIALLY RIGHT BEFORE AN ELECTION HE WOULD HAVE WON. I STAND BY MY PARDON OF SHERIFF JOE AND I THINK THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA WHO KNOW HIM BEST WOULD AGREE WITH ME.

TED SIMONS: YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER HEARING THAT?

DELIA SALVATIERRA: THE CONSTITUTION IF IT HAS ANY MEANING IT HAS TO APPLY EQUALLY TO EVERYONE. EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION -- YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION. YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULE OF LAW. PATRIOT DOESN'T MEAN LOYALTY TO THE PRESIDENT. IT MEANS LOYALTY TO THE CONSTITUTION. HIS PARDONING OF SOMEONE WHO IS A CONVICTED INDIVIDUAL IN A FEDERAL COURT UNDERMINES THE JUDICIARIES, THE SEPARATION OF POWERS, AS I MENTIONED. HE MENTIONED HE WOULD HAVE WON THIS ELECTION. I DISAGREE WITH THAT. I THINK THE VOTERS ACROSS THE BOARD HERE IN ARIZONA WERE TIRED OF THE MONEY THE STATE WAS SPENDING ON JOE ARPAIO. IT'S DISGRACEFUL, BUT HE HAS THE POWER TO DO THAT.

TED SIMONS: OTHER SUPPORTERS SAY THE COURTS SPOKE WITH THEIR CONVICTION, THE PEOPLE SPOKE WITH THEIR VOTE AND THE PRESIDENT SPOKE WITH HIS PARDON. IT'S OVER. YOUR RESPONSE.

DELIA SALVATIERRA: IT'S A POLITICAL PARDONING. HE MAY ARGUE THAT IT'S A POLITICAL PROSECUTION OF JOE ARPAIO, BUT IN REALITY THIS WAS AN ORDER BY JUDGE MURRAY SNOW, A VERY CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN JUDGE WHO DETERMINED HE HAD VIOLATED COURT ORDERS AND REFERRED THE CASE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THEREFORE, THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HOPEFULLY PUT THIS BEHIND US AND MOVE FORWARD AND NOT USE THIS EXAMPLE AS THE RULE OF LAW BUT AS AN EXCEPTION UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION.

TED SIMONS: BIGGEST FALLOUT FROM THE PARDON, FROM WHERE YOU SIT?

DELIA SALVATIERRA: UNDERMINING OF DEMOCRACY AND OUR INSTITUTIONS BECAUSE THOSE ARE WHAT HOLD OUR CONSTITUTION TOGETHER. THAT'S HOW WE MOVE FORWARD AS A SOCIETY, DEFINING OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR AMERICAN VALUES.

TED SIMONS: GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE. APPRECIATE IT. COMING UP ON ARIZONA HORIZON, THE PARDON OF JOE ARPAIO FROM A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE. THAT'S NEXT.

Delia Salvatierra: Salvatierra Law Group

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