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Lawmakers want push against Arpaio pardon during Trump Phoenix visit

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, second from right, leaves U.S. District Court on the first day of his contempt-of-court trial with attorney Mark Goldman, left, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Two Arizona lawmakers urged people to speak up about a possible pardon for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during President Donald Trump’s Phoenix visit.

“He’s here to talk about Joe Arpaio and possibly pardon him,” state Sen. Martin Quezada said Friday. “Your voices need to be heard, and your voices should be heard.”

The organizers of Trump’s event have not said what the president would speak about, but he has been mulling a pardon of Arpaio for at least a week.

State Sen. Catherine Miranda said demonstrations at the rally should show Trump that some of Arizona does not support a pardon, especially considering the effect Arpaio’s immigration sweeps had on the Hispanic community.

“We need to grow our unity against these terrible attacks and threats against our community,” she said. “Our community has been terrorized for the past 10 years.”

Quezada said an Arpaio pardon means the president condones racism and staying silent does the same thing.

“Those extreme elements of our society can only be legitimized when they are catered to,” he said. “They can only be empowered when we look the other way when we do wrong. And, they can only be considered socially acceptable if we stay silent.”

Other Hispanic leaders condemned the possible pardon last week. A poll released Monday showed half of Arizona opposed the idea of a pardon in Phoenix.

Trump was expected to hold a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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