Media Contact

August 25, 2017

PHOENIX - President Trump has pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt for deliberately violating a federal court order that prohibited illegal detentions based only on suspicions about immigration status.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought by Latino residents of Maricopa County who successfully challenged Arpaio’s policies of racial profiling and illegal detentions. The plaintiff class was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and partner organizations. Arpaio repeatedly flouted court orders in that civil rights case, leading to both civil and criminal contempt rulings against him.

ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler had this reaction to Trump's pardon:

"A resilient, strong community rose up against Arpaio's unlawful practices and their triumph over him can never be undone, by Trump or anyone else. The racist practices that Arpaio implemented and Trump foolishly admires are illegal and immoral and no pardon will ever change that reality. Maricopa County is moving forward and we will continue to fight Trump's attempts to advance Arpaio's failed legacy."

ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang said:

“With his pardon of Arpaio, Trump has chosen lawlessness over justice, division over unity, hurt over healing. Once again, the president has acted in support of illegal, failed immigration enforcement practices that target people of color and have been struck down by the courts. His pardon of Arpaio is a presidential endorsement of racism.” 

Stay informed

ACLU of Arizona is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National