PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Donald Trump in his run for the White House during an appearance in Iowa on Tuesday.
Arpaio threw his support behind the New York billionaire during an appearance in Marshalltown, Iowa.
“I have great respect for Sheriff Arpaio,” Trump said in a statement. “We must restore law and order and respect the men and women of our police forces. I thank him for his support of my policies and candidacy for president.”
The endorsement was part of Trump’s closing arguments during the Iowa caucuses. Arpaio has long been one of the Republican Party’s most outspoken in the illegal immigration conversation.
KTAR News confirmed Arpaio left for the Midwest on Tuesday.
In a statement, Arpaio said Trump will “stand with me and countless Americans to secure our border” and will protect American jobs and families.
Arpaio appeared at both of Trump’s Arizona rallies last year. During one, Trump said illegal immigration was threatening the American way of life.
“If we don’t stop [illegal immigration], we don’t have a country,” he told a crowd of thousands inside an airport hangar at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Trump echoed the same sentiments he told a Phoenix crowd in July when he said, while he loves the Mexican people, illegal immigration is damaging the United States. He not only wants a massive wall between the two nations, but wants the Mexican government to pay for it.
“We’re going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for the wall,” he said.
Pablo Manriquez, the Hispanic media director for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement Arpaio’s endorsement shows Trump demonizes immigrants and is not the right person to lead the country.
Trump is garnering notable Republican support for his run at the White House. Earlier this month, former vice presidential candidate and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she backed Trump’s campaign.
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