The man known as "America's toughest sheriff" for his no-nonsense approach to law enforcement and his strong opposition to illegal immigration has endorsed Donald Trump for president.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, whose endorsement was announced Tuesday afternoon by the Trump campaign, was the first to sue Obama over his 2014 administrative orders, which allowed another 4 or 5 million illegal aliens to remain in the United States.
When Trump announced his run for the White House, he took on Obama's open-borders policy, calling for a wall to be built on the southern border.
In a statement about Arpaio's endorsement, Trump said: "I have great respect for Sheriff Arpaio. We must restore law and order on the border and respect the men and women of our police forces. I thank him for his support of my policies and candidacy for president."
Arpaio said: "Donald Trump is a leader. He produces results and is ready to get tough in order to protect American jobs and families. I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration.
"I know Donald Trump will stand with me and countless Americans to secure our border. I am proud to support him as the best candidate for president of the United States of America."
Arpaio has attended both of Trump's campaign rallies in Arizona.
The announcement from the Trump camp came only hours after another endorsement by Jerry Falwell Jr.
The endorsement from Falwell, president of Liberty University, was personal and not on behalf of the university.
Falwell said he saw parallels between Trump and his late father.
"Like Mr. Trump, dad would speak his mind. … Dad explained that when he walked into the voting booth, he wasn't electing a Sunday school teacher, or a pastor, or even a president who shared his theological beliefs. He was electing a president of the United States to lead a nation."
Arpaio has been at odds with the Obama administration since its beginning, mostly over illegal immigration. The sheriff sued because of the impact illegal aliens have on the safety and security of his county's residents. Federal officials, in turn, have accused him of not treating illegals properly.
A split panel of federal judges said Arpaio didn't have standing to sue, with the minority expressing outrage that the concerns of the sheriff of one of the nation's largest counties, on the border with Mexico, would be dismissed.
Arpaio has been sheriff since 1992 and is seeking re-election.
His philosophy for law enforcement, according to the sheriff's office website, is, "The public is my boss, so I serve the public."
His unusual approach to law enforcement has earned him repeated election victories.
For example, he established chain gangs for inmates to contribute thousands of dollars of free labor to communities, painting over graffiti and cleaning streets.
He banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic magazines and unrestricted TV in jails. His costs per meal for inmates run between 15 cents and 40 cents. He provided pink underwear for inmates to wear, after learning that inmates were stealing white jailhouse boxers.
He's also posted mugshots online to serve as a deterrent, and he's behind the only official law enforcement investigation of Barack Obama's birth certificate. His investigators have concluded that the birth certificate Obama presented at the White House as an official government document almost certainly is a forgery.
His endorsement was facilitated by pastor Carl Gallups, a popular author and radio host who recently gave the opening invocation at a massive Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida.
"He loves this nation and its heritage," Gallups, who has not officially endorsed any candidate, told WND. "He's the anti-Obama, he's the opposite of Obama. And he's commander in chief material, he has that kind of presence, and he'd be tough on our enemies."
After an unexpected invitation by the event organizers, Gallups addressed a standing-room-only crowd of more than 10,000 at the Pensacola Bay Center. In what has become a typical phenomenon at Trump rallies, thousands had to be turned away because of limited capacity.
Gallups, the author of several books, including "Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation," called for God's mercy on a nation that has turned its back on Him.
"We humbly ask as Abraham asked," Gallups prayed. "Lord, if there is a percentage who still revere your name and your word, would you heal this land, would you bless this land? We ask for this healing Lord, not for our comfort or our prosperity, but for the glory of your name. Because we agree with your word – blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
He told WND he had been in touch with Mike Zullo, the head of Arpaio's Cold Case Posse investigating the Obama birth certificate, and as a result met recently with Arpaio.
Gallups told WND there are two things the sheriff authorized him to speak about publicly: Arpaio remains immersed in the Obama fraud investigation, which will announce further finds, and he was ready to give his endorsement to Trump.