Arpaio has responded by housing inmates in tents, clothing them in pink underwear and serving green and blue meat.
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said the sheriff's department could not be reformed unless Arpaio stepped down. "He's the one who made himself a national figure by violating people's rights," Grijalva said.
Paul Charlton, a former U.S. attorney in Arizona who represented two local government officials who butted heads with Arpaio, only to be retaliated against, said of the sheriff: "If not for the federal government, this county would be run like a fiefdom."
In recent months, there have been some signs that Arizonans are weary of Arpaio's get-tough approach on illegal immigration. Earlier this year, Arpaio ally Russell Pearce, president of the state Senate and author of SB 1070, the state's controversial law targeting illegal immigrants for deportation, failed to push through a raft of anti-illegal-immigration bills. In November, Pearce was booted from office in a recall election.