Joe Arpaio: I am running to protect Arizona and support Trump's agenda

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has announced he will challenge Kelli Ward for Arizona's open Senate seat to advance President Donald Trump’s agenda and policies.

“I have a chance to continue protecting the people of Arizona and the country, supporting the President, since I supported him since from day one, July 2015,” Arpaio told FOX Business’ Charles Payne.

The Republican senatorial candidate, known for his provocative approach to combatting illegal immigration, continues to be against amnesty policies and described how he would allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to return to the U.S.

“My idea was, when you come across these people, deport them,” Arpaio said. “Let them understand where their parents and even they come from, be ambassadors. While they are there, we have religious groups that go over. We have the Peace Corps, the old Peace Corps, let them go over there and let them come back legally.”

Arpaio, whose parents immigrated to America from Italy, said he is ready to be challenged by the Democratic Party who he says tries to label him as anti-immigrant and a racist.

“I am not a racist. Actually, a lot of people are being called a racist these days. When they can’t get you on one thing, they always throw the race card. So let them go, I am ready for them,” he said.

Arpaio served 24 years as sheriff of Maricopa County. After he was convicted of criminal contempt, Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump in August 2017.