Statement by Cardinal Roger Mahony on the presidential pardon of former Sheriff Arpaio:
I am deeply troubled and disgusted by President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arapaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. The former sheriff’s tenure was marked by racial profiling, harassment of our Latino brothers and sisters, and the disruption of immigrant communities. He created fear and terror among so many immigrants, and not just in Arizona. Children here in California were afraid to go to school because of what they heard from Phoenix. He defied a court order to discontinue to round up immigrants and to detain them in inhumane conditions.
Rather than upholding it, President Trump’s pardon flouts and undermines the rule of law. It also sends a dangerous signal to law enforcement throughout the country that they, too, can ignore due process and profile and harass persons of color, especially Latinos. This pardon rekindles the fear and terror so rampant among our immigrant peoples. The police need good relationships with immigrants, and our immigrants need an understanding and helpful police force to protect them.
It is clear that the President and his administration is intent on deporting as many immigrants as possible, regardless of their due process rights and the equities they have built in our country. In line with this goal, I am also troubled that the president may remove protections from young immigrants who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I urge him to find the moral courage to preserve the DACA program and to defend it rigorously in federal court.
May all Catholics and people of good will raise their voices and stand up for our immigrant brothers and sisters during this difficult period in their lives and in the life of our country.
From Cardinal Mahony’s blog.