Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio served as the keynote speaker for the Ahwatukee Republican Women’s (ARW) meeting last week.

Arpaio gave comment on recent issues and controversial topics such as the new Senate Bill 1070 ruling, the county’s tent city and the recent investigation of President Obama’s birth certificate, after he was given a belated, 80th birthday cake from the organization.

Loraine Pellegrino, ARW’s president, said Arpaio’s speech was “no surprise” to the organization. “With SB 1070 in the news, we thought it would be timely that he come and address the group.”

Thanking the meeting’s nearly 70 attendees for their support, Arpaio said with the new SB 1070 ruling, he “had been doing it anyway” when his agency started enforcing illegal immigration laws. The sheriff said no big changes should occur in the county’s immigration law enforcement.

“I’ve been raiding businesses, and I will continue my crime suppression operation that a lot of people hate,” Arpaio added. “I’m not going to stop.”

ARW is a local affiliate of the Arizona Federation of Republican Women, and has its general meetings every month.

Pellegrino said the organization appreciates Arpaio for his “pledge to enforce the laws.”

“We’ve got state laws, we’re going to keep enforcing them and maybe things will change,” Arpaio said.

For more information about ARW, visit or email

Diana Martinez is freelancing this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach her at Follow her on Twitter @_dianamartinez.

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