Group That Brought Down Arizona Immigration Law Architect Now Targets Arpaio

One down. Now, activists who oppose Arizona's hard line against undocumented immigrants say, it's time for another to go.

The group that led the recall effort against former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, who shaped Arizona's law cracking down on illegal immigration, plans to ask county officials to seek Sheriff Joe Arpaio's resignation.

Arpaio has gained national notoriety for his high-profile war on undocumented immigrants in Maricopa County, where, among other things, he has spearheaded workplace raids.

Long before Arizona passed its controversial law cracking down on undocumented immigrants, becoming a symbol of the frustration of local officials over federal inaction over the flawed immigration system, Arpaio was pushing the need for officials like himself to deal with illegal immigration.

Randy Parraz, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona, says members of his group will press the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday to pass a future resolution that seeks Arpaio's ouster.

The board has budgetary authority over the sheriff, but don't have the power to fire Arpaio.

The sheriff, who is seeking re-election in 2012, has rejected other resignation calls over his office's handling of more than 400 sex-crimes cases that weren't adequately investigated or weren't investigated at all. The cases were later reopened.

Parraz's group has launched a campaign to get other elected officials to voice their opposition to the sheriff.

Recently, Parraz told Efe news service: "Just like Pearce, Sheriff Arpaio takes an extremist position against immigrants, against immigration, and we want that to end."

"We're going to take action, we're going to set our sights on him," Parraz said to Efe.

Arpaio told Efe he isn't worried about the campaign against him.

"I'm going to keep on doing my job," the news service quoted him as saying. "Nothing has changed with Pearce leaving office, my work is to apply the laws and that's what I'll do."

This is a story based on The Associated Press.

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