New lawsuit challenges Arpaio raids -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

New lawsuit challenges Arpaio raids

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been hit with another lawsuit.

This one accuses Arpaio of conducting illegal raids at Valley businesses.

Over the years, Arpaio has conducted dozens of raids that have targeted individuals using fake or stolen IDs to get jobs.

Those raids have now been called into question for possible discrimination.

The sheriff is accused of singling out illegal immigrant workers during raids at Valley restaurants, car washes and other businesses.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of immigration activists and two undocumented workers, who were arrested during MCSO raids last year.

A news conference was held Wednesday outside MCSO headquarters in Phoenix.

Activists are demanding that the raids stop immediately.

"We're here to say that working is not a crime," said Carlos Garcia with Puente Arizona. "Our families deserve to be here and they are victims of Arpaio's raids."

"Arizona identity theft laws have been diluted by trying to make them into immigration laws," said the Rev. Susan Frederick Gray. "This misdirects resources and may come at the cost of actually tackling the problem of ID theft."

MCSO has conducted more than 80 workplace raids since 2008, arresting more than 750 workers.

However, only a small number of them have had charges filed against them.

Arpaio defended his raids by saying that there's no difference between someone stealing an identity for money, and someone who uses fake or stolen IDs to get jobs.

"We do not go after people that are here illegally," said Arpaio. "We go after people that steal identification that's caused many victims in Maricopa County and across the country."

Arpaio said he has no plans to stop the raids while the lawsuit is pending.

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