Nicholas Ballasy
March 17, 2009

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) told he is going to invite Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio to testify in his committee about alleged abuses by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in its enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. But a spokeswoman for Arpaio told that the sheriff — who has not yet received an official invitation to testify — currently has “no intention” of appearing before Conyers’ committee.

[efoods]The spokeswoman said, however, that Arpaio “welcomes” a Justice Department investigation into the way his sheriff’s office has handled enforcement of federal immigration laws.

As reported last week, Acting Assistant Atty. Gen. Loretta King sent a letter to Sheriff Arpaio on March 10 informing him that the Justice Department was initiating an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

The investigation, King wrote, will “focus on alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures conducted by the MCSO, and on allegations of national origin discrimination, including failure to provide meaningful access to MCSO services for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals.”

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