West Hollywood Council to consider Arizona boycott

The West Hollywood City Council tonight will consider banning official travel to Arizona until the state's anti-illegal immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, is repealed.

"SB 1070 is reminiscent of a time when California voters were asked to decide on Proposition 187, leading to one of our darkest and most regretful times in our state's history," City Councilman John Duran said.

Proposition 187 was a 1994 ballot initiative that sought to deny illegal immigrants public benefits, such as health care and education. It was approved by voters, but later found unconstitutional by a federal court.

"History tells us that criminalizing a group of people leads to unnecessary social tensions and potentially to hate incidents," Duran said. "This law will undoubtedly lead to racial profiling."

When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill into law April 23, she said she "will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona."

"As committed as I am to protecting our state from crime associated with illegal immigration, I am equally committed to holding law enforcement accountable should this statute ever be misused to violate an individual's rights," Brewer said.

Brewer signed House Bill 2162 into law Friday which includes changes to Senate Bill 1070 she said "specifically answer legal questions raised by some who expressed fears that the original law would somehow allow or lead to racial profiling."

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

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday backed a call by council members Janice Hahn and Ed Reyes to join an economic boycott of Arizona.

"The Arizona law is not only misguided, it is unpatriotic and unconstitutional," Villaraigosa said. "I add my voice in strongly opposing this unpatriotic and un-American law, and I call upon our federal leaders to pass comprehensive immigration reform in its place."

A survey found that nearly two-thirds of Arizona voters support the new law, which supporters say specifically outlaws racial profiling and only empowers local law enforcement to check people's immigration status if they are stopped for some other reason.

Arizona officials said they acted because Congress and the White House have failed to secure the border since the 1980s. The Arizona law requires police to determine if detainees are illegal immigrants and makes illegal immigration a violation of state law.

President Barack Obama and numerous civil rights groups have condemned the law, and lawsuits have been filed in an attempt to have it declared unconstitutional.

Brewer said Friday that "Arizona is acting responsibly to address a border security crisis that is not of our making."

"The federal government's failure requires us to act to protect our citizens and we are doing just that," Brewer said.

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