U-S President Donald Trump added to the stream of controversy that follows him when he issued a pardon for former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Friday night.

Arpaio, the longtime Sheriff of Maricopa county was waiting for sentencing on a contempt-of-court conviction for not abiding by a judge’s order to stop his departmet’s immigration patrols that focused on Latinos.

The White House said Arpaio was a wothy candidate for a pardon because of his “life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”

A lawyer involved in Arpaio’s prosecution says that the pardon by Trump “is a presidential endorsement of racism.”

In a statement, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain says that pardoning Arpaio undermines Trump’s claim to respect the rule of law.