To the editor:
I’m writing in reply to a letter to the Catholic Courier written by John Compton in November 2010.
This letter mentions Stephen Kent and covers criticism of the current Maricopa Count Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Why would any person in the Diocese of Rochester be interested in this sheriff? I am writing as a resident of Arizona that has read about some of the actions of Joe Arpaio.
Joe Arpaio appears to be anti Hispanic, anti-prisoners in his charge and anti-jail cells. He has made frequent sweeps of some Hispanic areas. (He) has clothed prisoners in pink and housed them in tents in hot weather. The writer disputes these facts, but they are facts.
These and harsher actions do not appear to be those of a man trying to help citizens. There is no need to bring these items to the Diocese of Rochester, but there is a need to state the facts not opinions.
There is anger in the Southwest about immigration. This situation needs to be resolved. It is my hope that the U.S. Congress will act on this issue in 2011.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Compton’s letter responded to a column in the previous month’s issue by Catholic News Service columnist Stephen Kent, in which Kent discussed support for Sheriff Arpaio’s actions — even outside Arizona — as a sign of willingness among some groups to deny the human dignity of illegal aliens.