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San Diego City Council decries Arizona immigration law

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    ... Subject: San Diego City Council decries Arizona immigration law - San Diego News Network - http://www.sdnn.com - San Diego City Council decries Arizona
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2010
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      Subject: San Diego City Council decries Arizona immigration law

      - San Diego News Network - http://www.sdnn.com -


      San Diego City Council decries Arizona immigration law


      Posted By chris.nixon On May 3, 2010 @ 3:37 pm In Local News, Mexico, Politics & Government | 7


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      San Diego: [1]

      San Diego Council President Ben Hueso called for a resolution to encourage the Arizona government to consider an appeal of SB1070 during a news conference Monday. (Courtesy Photo)


      The San Diego City Council voted 7-1 Monday to adopt a resolution calling for the repeal of Arizona’s recently passed law targeting illegal immigrants. However, the city’s Human Relations Commission pushed for harsher, more substantive measures in response to the neighboring state’s recent actions.


      Council President Ben Hueso, who requested the resolution, said he supports immigration reform and protecting the nation’s border, but described Arizona’s law as detrimental to national unity.


      “This law threatens to divide our union,” Hueso said. “I believe it violates the Constitution. It victimizes legal residents as well as those who are here in the country illegally. And, it discourages the victims of crimes in the immigrant community to access justice.”


      Citing a recent amendment to Arizona’s immigration law seeking to address concerns about racial profiling, Councilman Carl DeMaio cast the lone dissenting vote.


      “I cannot support the resolution as introduced, as it does not accurately reflect the Arizona state law as amended under HB 2162,” DeMaio said. “Moreover, the resolution as introduced fails to call the federal government to task for its failure to secure our nation’s borders.”


      In a memo to the City Council, the city’s Human Relations Commission urged the council to create a task force that would produce a stronger resolution calling for a boycott of Arizona.


      “While we commend the City Council for its resolution, we don’t think it goes far enough,” said Nicole Murray-Ramirez, the immediate past chair of the commission. “The sentiment is nice, but we need action.”

      The commission called for a resolution that would put an immediate moratorium on city employee travel for city business to Arizona; a freeze on city contracts and purchasing in the state; and an economic boycott by businesses that would conduct business in Arizona or visitors who would travel or meet there.


      The commission unanimously supported its resolution.


      According to the commission’s memo, a similar boycott against Arizona was effective in 1990, when the state failed to recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a holiday. The commission said approximately 170 conventions boycotted the state from 1990 to 1993.


      “Opposition to this punitive new anti-immigrant law has become widespread in the short time since passage,” the commission wrote.


      Senate Bill 1070, signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on April 23, makes in unlawful to be in the state without the proper documents and authorizes local law enforcement to investigate a person’s immigration status whenever there is a reasonable suspicion that an individual is in the country illegally.

      At the time, Brewer said she will “not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona.”


      On Friday, Brewer signed an amendment to SB 1070, called House Bill 2162, which bars race from being considered when inquiring about someone’s legal status.


      “These new amendments make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal and will not be tolerated in Arizona,” Brewer said last week.


      Councilwoman Marti Emerald described the amendment as a “smokescreen.”


      “In my mind, this house bill is a smokescreen by people who really do support racial profiling, and it would be totally unnecessary if the Arizona state government would repeal 1070,” Emerald said.


      San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne testified that he does not support Arizona’s law.


      Lansdowne said his department prohibits racial profiling. Any change in that policy would result in a breakdown in trust with the community and immigrants not reporting crimes, he said.


      “If we change that policy, it would be my belief that the community would no longer trust us and they would not report those crimes and we would not be able to adequately and effectively police the city of San Diego,” Lansdowne said.


      Dozens of people testified at today’s City Council hearing, all of them supported the resolution opposing the Arizona law.


      In a statement, Mayor Jerry Sanders said he will sign the resolution.


      “It’s not the job of our police department to solve the federal government’s immigration problem,” Sanders said.


      “As a former police chief, I know what we ask of our officers every day with our limited city resources, and their first priority is to protect our citizens,” he said. “There is no reason to complicate and compromise their priorities.”


      Dozens of people testified at Monday’s City Council hearing, all of them supporting the resolution opposing the Arizona law.


      Pedro Rios, with the U.S./Mexico Border Program, called Arizona’s law “harsh and draconian” and said it was important for the San Diego City Council to send a message so that similar laws don’t get off the ground.

      “This law will be replicated unless we put a stop to it,” he said.


      In a statement, Mayor Jerry Sanders said he will sign the City Council resolution.


      “It’s not the job of our police department to solve the federal government’s immigration problem,” Sanders said.


      “As a former police chief, I know what we ask of our officers every day with our limited city resources, and their first priority is to protect our citizens,” he said. “There is no reason to complicate and compromise their priorities.”


      City News Service also contributed to this report.



      Article printed from San Diego News Network: http://www.sdnn.com


      URL to article: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-05-03/politics-city-county-government/san-diego-city-council-calls-for-repeal-of-arizona-illegal-immigrant-law


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