GLAAD response to President Trump’s choice to defend Joe Arpaio

NEW YORK - GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today voiced outrage over President Trump’s choice to defend former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio at a political rally this evening in Phoenix, Arizona. Arpaio is infamous for his previous conviction of issuing racist, anti-immigrant policies in Maricopa County even after being ordered by a judge to stop racial targeting and detaining undocumented immigrants without a legal basis. Arpaio also gained national attention for his inhumane Tent City jail, which he boasted was a “concentration camp, and his relentless campaign to terrorize Latinx communities by using racial profiling for immigration enforcement.  

“By defending Joe Arpaio, President Trump sends a chilling message of support for racial profiling, inhumane inmate abuses, and unlawful defiance for the federal court system,” said Monica Trasandes, Director of Spanish Language and Latinx Media & Representation. “Arpaio’s discriminatory actions created a hostile environment throughout Arizona and sparked additional, anti-immigration policies across the United States. It is absolutely vital for the LGBTQ community to help communities of color and immigrants fight back against this dangerous conversation being run by the Trump Administration. Embracing intolerance has no place for the Office of the Presidency and the United States.”

According to the Williams Institute, an estimated 267,000 adult undocumented immigrants identify as LGBTQ (Latinx, Black, Asian, and Muslim). Joe Arpaio’s anti-immigrant ideology has created an environment in Arizona that increased the profiling, deportation, and detention of immigrants, including LGBTQ immigrants. Transgender immigrants are often disproportionately detained in immigration centers and suffer a higher rate of abuse.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Racist and Anti-Immigration Record

  • Bragged that he had built a concentration camp. "I already have a concentration camp...It's called tent city."
  • Found guilty of criminal contempt of court for his willful defiance of "orders to stop detaining undocumented immigrants without legal basis."
  • Engaged in racial profiling in order to detain undocumented immigrants.
  • Insisted President Obama's birth certificate is forged and says he will not give up trying to prove it.
  • Investigations show Arpaio and his deputies "failed to investigate of conducted only the sketchiest of inquiries into hundreds of sex crimes between 2005 and 2007, investigations by Arizona law enforcement agencies have shown. Many of those cases involved molested children."
  • Branded by The New York Times Editorial Board as "America's Worst Sheriff."