PHOENIX - Sheriff Joe Arpaio is standing by his illegal immigration sweeps and is speaking out against a hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C.
"If they think they're going to scare me away it's never going to happen," said Sheriff Arpaio.
Four Valley women and one child will be testifying about how Arpaio's workplace raids have impacted their lives. The small group has a big message..."We want justice."
"People who come here it's for a better life for their children," said Catherine Figueroa.
Figueroa is just 10-years old and will be testifying Thursday about feeling the impact of an illegal immigration sweep.
"My parents were in jail for three months," Figueroa explained. "They were just working and Arpaio did one of his raids at the car wash."
Sheriff Arpaio told ABC15 Figueroa's parents were in the U.S. illegally and jailed on identity theft charges.
Figueroa's parents are out of jail and back with their daughter as the case is now turned over to federal authorities. Figueroa says her experience makes her fearful of sheriff's deputies when she sees them.
"Everything comes back in my mind what happened to my parents and I get afraid," said Figueroa.
Catherine will join a handful of Valley women, like Silvia Rodriguez, on Capitol Hill Thursday to share similar stories with members of Congress.
"The children are really the ones being affected tremendously," Rodriguez said angrily. "They're terrorized by what is happening and also they're traumatized."
"They have to hold hearings to try to disgrace me," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio. "They don't like me cracking down on illegal immigration."
Sheriff Arpaio said he has no plans of listening to Thursday's hearing as witnesses try to stop him and Senate Bill 1070. But Arpaio adds that he's very frustrated Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), who is co-hosting the hearing, never asked for his side of the immigration debate.
"He can have all the hearings he wants. He can have all these witnesses that are twisting the facts, I know the real facts, and he can put on his pony show," said Arpaio.
The congressional hearing is scheduled for Thursday at noon Arizona time. Stay with ABC15 Thursday as we closely monitor that meeting and bring you reaction.
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