Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio listens to one of his attorneys during a news conference in Phoenix. Arpaio is expected to take the witness stand Tuesday, July 24, 2012, and face allegations that his trademark immigration sweeps amounted to racial profiling against Hispanics. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona sheriff known nationally for his hard-line stance on illegal immigration is on the witness stand answering questions about statements that critics say show prejudiced thinking.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio testifying in defense during a civil trail focusing on his trademark immigration sweeps was asked about a comment he made on a cable news talk show that seemed to express admiration for the Ku Klux Klan.

CNN host Lou Dobbs spoke with Arpaio in 2007 about comparisons between his department and the KKK, about which the sheriff said, “I think it’s an honor. It means we are doing something.”

Arpaio on Tuesday said he said he doesn’t consider the comparison an honor, adding that he has no use for the KKK.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.