Terry Greene Sterling joins Arizona Horizon to discuss the book she co-authored, “Driving While Brown,” which looks at former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s controversial anti-immigrant policies including alleged racial profiling.
History of Immigration
According to Greene Sterling, Mexican-Americans fighting for civil rights dates back to the Mexican American War. In 1848 when Arizona became a part of a state, many Mexicans became United States citizens but were stripped of some of their rights. Due to Arizona’s past as a confederate state, many Southern refugees came over to Arizona and brought their controversial views.
Many Arizona laws were passed with the intention to criminalize unauthorized immigrants in the country. The most famous being SB1070. Arpaio also got a partnership from the federal government to enforce immigration with the feds. This increases shakedowns in Latino communities.
At the time, Arpaio was a reputable politician in the state. He stood up to judges, activists, and anyone else who stood in his way. According to Greene Sterling, the Latino resistance is the only source of reckoning for Arpaio. This resistance ended up costing Arpaio his reelection in 2016.
During the process of writing the book, Arpaio gave the authors several interviews.