Az. Gov. Brewer Cancels Conference With Brown Mexican Governors
July 7, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Nativist Republican Gov. of Arizona Jan Brewer, continues to make all the wrong moves for her state, that has now suffered economically from boycotts and holds a reputation as an unwelcoming destination for Latinos. After she signed the “show me your papers” anti-immigration bill into law, six Mexican border governors advised Brewer they would not attend a September governors conference planned for Phoenix, because of concerns SB 1070 promoted racial profiling. Brewer’s response? She unilaterally canceled the annual conference, declaring that the harsh anti-immigration law has been “misunderstood and misinterpreted.”
The Border Governors Conference has been a regular annual event, held in various host cities, since 1989, except for one sparsely attended event, according to the website:
“Since 1989, the Conference successfully maintained an annual agenda until XIII when only one U.S. governor confirmed his attendance, leaving Mexican states to hold their own conference in Creel, Chihuahua.”
It’s unheard of for a U.S. hosting governor to unilaterally cancel the annual border conference.
Brewer posted her letter written to the six Mexican border governors canceling the conference on the 2010 Border Governors website, recommitting her defense of SB 1070, which makes it a crime to be in the state without residency papers. And requires police to question people detained or stopped, about their immigration status based on reasonable suspicion:
“Acting in my capacity as Chair of the XXVIII Border Governors Conference, I am writing you to let you know that your recent confirmation regarding non-attendance at the upcoming conference has led to my decision to cancel the Conference, wrote Brewer. [...]
“I remain unwavering in my belief that signing Senate Bill 1070 and House Bill 2162 was the right thing to do for the State of Arizona.” [...]
“Notwithstanding these legislative matters, which have been misunderstood and misinterpreted by a number of people, I want to assure you of my belief regarding the importance of Arizona’s relationship with Mexico.”
On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department sued the state of Arizona, alleging SB 1070 was unconstitutional and raised civil rights concerns.
The six Mexican governors earlier advised Brewer that they could not attend a conference in Arizona “based on ethnic and cultural prejudice contrary to fundamental rights.”
Juan Tintos, coordinator of public relations for the state of Baja California, said in May while on a trade visit to California, “We are not going where we are not welcome.”
Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico is now actively pursuing another host city for the conference, declaring Brewer doesn’t have the authority to cancel the entire summit:
“Governor Brewer doesn’t have the authority to cancel the Border Governors Conference,” Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for Mr. Richardson said. “She may not want to host it for political reasons, but that’s not a reason to sidestep the tough issues that border governors must address, including migration and border violence. Governor Richardson will look for alternative sites to host the conference, with or without Arizona’s participation.”
Brewer’s office was unable to confirm if she would be part of the conference held in a different state.