Controversial AZ sheriff speaks in Ramona: Joe Arpaio shared opinions on immigration, other issues

RAMONA, Calif. - One of the country's most controversial law enforcement officers spoke to Tea Party members in Ramona on Saturday.

People waiting in line cheered as Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrived to share his opinions on immigration and other issues.

"The bravest sheriff in the entire country … 'cause what he is dong, every sheriff in the nation can do," said Bill Knoff.

While the sheriff was greeted by supporters, dozens of protesters made it clear they were not happy he was in town.

Arpaio was invited by members of the Ramona Tea Party to share his views on a possible solution to the illegal immigration problem. He thanked residents in Murrieta who protested busing dozens of undocumented immigrants from Texas to California.

"You guys put it back in the news, so thank you for that," Arpaio said.

He did not hold back in placing some of the blame for illegal immigration on Mexico, saying the country needs to play a bigger role in helping stop people from crossing illegally.

"Don't these kids have to go through Mexico to get to the U.S.? So why don't they stop them in Mexico? No, they don't want to," said Arpaio.

While most people welcomed his views, one supporter was not pleased when he asked Arpaio about those coming to the United States for amnesty.

"Frankly, I was a little disappointed in the answer because he just said you have to stay active type of thing without really giving any specifics," said Tony Ireland.

Arpaio also discussed prison overcrowding in California and said he would be willing to help the state set up tent cities for inmates like he did in Arizona.

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