WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), which represents the interests of over 400 state legislators from both parties in state legislatures across the country, issued the following statement today condemning the presidential pardon of Joe Arpaio:
NHCSL Executive Director Kenneth Romero-Cruz said: "Pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, undermines the rule of law and sends the wrong message to law enforcement officers who should enforce the law and not racially profile law-abiding taxpayers. Instead of providing amnesty to a convicted criminal who jailed innocent Latinos and other minorities without legal authority, the President should promote policies to heal the racial and ethnic tensions that have been made worse by hate mongers like Arpaio and other racists. This pardon is also an affront to the judiciary and the separation of powers because it sends the message that unconstitutional acts and disrespect for court orders can go on without fear of punishment. NHCSL condemns this pardon and urges President Trump to reconsider his actions and rhetoric on the sensitive issue of racially motivated violence, profiling, and persecution."
"On Friday, President Trump sent a cowardly message to my home state of Arizona and to this nation that racism, defiance of the rule of law and intentional discrimination against people of color are acceptable and rewarding elements of Trump's America. I have witnessed Arpaio terrorize my community for political gain. I also watched my community learn to take a stand against him, stand up and fight back in the streets, in the courts and at the ballot box. Trump and all who have condoned this pardon and celebrated the years of illegal activity by Arpaio have only exposed themselves as bullies who attempt to give themselves a sense of importance to hide their own weakness. But history has taught us that people like Trump and Arpaio don't get very far and those on the right side of justice will always be victorious," Senator Martín Quezada (AZ), Chair of NHCSL's Law & Criminal Justice Task Force said.
Representative César Chávez (AZ), Vice Chair of NHCSL's Immigration, Civil and Human Rights Task Force, stated that "Donald Trump has broken the trust that the American people instilled in him by pardoning Joe Arpaio. A judicial system is put in place because nobody is above the law and he slapped the integrity of this system."
"President Donald Trump has granted Joe Arpaio a presidential pardon. A pardon to an individual who has been found guilty of racial profiling, who has refused to follow orders of the courts, and who is a symbol of hate, bigotry, and racism. I'm asking you to join me, during this critical time, to register to vote to update your voter registration, to always cast a ballot during an election, and to make sure you are keeping elected officials accountable. Please join me, because as a community we can stop the hate, but it starts with you, and it starts with me, and it starts with our neighbors," Representative Otoniel "Tony" Navarrete (AZ), Member of NHCSL's Executive Committee, said.
Senator Catherine Miranda (AZ), NHCSL's Former Vice President for Policy said: "Pardoning former Sheriff Arpaio pardons hate, racism, and division. Just as Arizona was growing rapidly with a positive image, President Trump set Arizona back as ground zero at its worse. At the same time that we face this set back and have to concentrate on healing our state, the state of Texas faces an emergency and its residents remain in our minds and in our hearts during this tragedy."
The NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 390 Hispanic legislators. For more information visit www.nhcsl.org.
SOURCE NHCSL-National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators