The annual "NetRoots Nation" convention for social media progressives is jumping head-first into the heated immigration debate with a plan to demand the immediate resignation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio while featuring a self-celebrated "undocumented immigrant" to host a presidential town hall.

The group's 15th convention, taking place in Phoenix, Ariz., July 16-19, took a political turn Tuesday when the "Arpaio Free AZ Rally" for July 19th, co-hosted by Puente Human Rights Movement, was announced.

"It's time for Arpaio to resign and take his legacy of inhumane treatment and racial profiling with him," said NetRoots in a statement. Arpaio is famous for deporting illegal immigrants.

The convention is also featuring a presidential town hall for candidates hosted by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who is an undocumented immigrant and subject of the biographical movie "Documented."

Said NetRoots boss Raven Brooks, "we're thrilled to have Jose on stage to make sure immigration is part of the conversation."

In announcing the anti-Arpaio rally, the group offered several reasons they want him dumped:

-- An end to Police-ICE collaboration: As the first sheriff to have his officers allowed to act as ICE agents by the federal government, Arpaio paved the way for SB1070. Now police departments across the state can racially profile with impunity. We demand ICE agents immediately leave the 4th Avenue Jail and that ICE stop deporting those swept up in the criminal justice system through the corrupt, abusive Maricopa County Sheriff's Department.

-- Human rights in Maricopa County Jails: We demand the immediate closing of Tent City, independent investigation into all deaths in custody, and adequate healthcare and mental health care for inmates. Arpaio has worked to strip the dignity of people in his custody through chain gangs, inadequate meals, striped uniforms and pink underwear. Stopping the dehumanization of inmates in county jails starts with ending these practices of intimidation and humiliation.

-- End discriminatory and abusive enforcement: Arpaio's posse must be disbanded, and all racial profiling and abuse by officers must be investigated and sanctioned by an independent commission.

-- Justice for Arpaio's victims: Justice in Maricopa County is not just the absence of Arpaio. The Sheriff and his cronies have destroyed countless lives over his nearly 25-year reign of terror. It's time for us to turn the tables on Arpaio and fight to repair the damage he's done.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at