Sheriff's Visit Prompts Protest

By R. Stickney and Chris Chan
|  Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010  |  Updated 8:32 PM PDT
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When the man whose been called Arizona Sheriff: "Racist Go Home" | NBC San Diego" />

When the man whose been called "the nation's toughest sheriff" walked up to a line of more than 100 protesters, he couldn't be heard over the chants "Racist Go Home." Source: Crowd to Arizona Sheriff: "Racist Go Home" | NBC San Diego

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Arpaio Faces Protesters: Raw Video

In Rancho Bernardo Tuesday, a group of protesters chanted "Racist Go Home" outside a meeting where Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was scheduled to speak.
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When the man whose been called "the nation's toughest sheriff" walked up to a line of more than 100 protesters, he couldn't be heard over the chants "Racist Go Home."

The controversial sheriff of Maricopa County was invited to speak to the Conservative Order for Good Government inside the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, often referred to as “the nation's toughest sheriff,” received national attention for using deputies to conduct frequent raids to catch illegal immigrants and for building large prison tents to house inmates. A move some protestors called inhumane on Tuesday.

More than 200 people are expected to attend the event.

"I invited the sheriff to speak because I think everyone wants to know what it is like to fight illegal immigration on the front lines," Marty Judge, the group's president, told our media partners the North County Times.

Outside, close to 150 people stood along the road, many holding signs. The majority of those waiting outside the country club are there to protest the recent passage of Arizona immigration law SB 1070.

"We are fed up with what he's doing in Arrzona," one protestor announced through a bullhorn.

After the event, Arpaio walked right up to the line of protestors and tried to speak to the group. Instead, he was blasted with sweel of chants, "Arpaio, Go Home."

Arpaio, who was surrounded by cameras, said to the media, "It's ridiculous that they're telling me to go home when this is my country."

“They won’t rationalize. They have their agenda. I go up to them and try to rationalize. You can’t do it,” he said.

When asked what he would say to the group, Arpaio said, “I would try and rationalize that this is a country of laws. Obey the law and do things the right way. That’s what I’d tell them."

Arizona's SB 1070 requires police question suspects about their immigration status if there is a "reasonable suspicion" the person is in the country illegally.

Among the groups staging the protest outside were the North County-based El Grupo, the Border Angels and the American Friends Service Committee.

One after another, people in the crowd addressed the issue of illegal immigration.

“Stop it over there before it gets to California, gets to San Diego and particularly here in North San Diego County,” said one speaker. “Violations are already happening against the migrant communities and it’s something that’s not acceptable.”

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