The U.S. Conference of Mayors approved two resolutions Monday condemning Arizona’s new immigration law and asking Congress to overhaul federal immigration policies.
The estimated 200 mayors at the conference approved the resolutions on a voice vote, but there was some opposition to each, conference spokeswoman Elena Temple-Webb said.
The first resolution opposing the Arizona law was sponsored by Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, who received a standing ovation when he spoke to the group Sunday. The resolution also opposes the enactment of similar laws in other states, supports court challenges to the Arizona measure and calls on Congress to approve comprehensive immigration reform.
The new Arizona law, which takes effect July 29, will make crossing the border illegally a state crime and require police to verify people’s immigration status when there’s “reasonable suspicion” they are in the United States illegally. The law also bans day laborers and makes it illegal for people trying hire them to block traffic.
The resolution says many people nationwide “have expressed outrage at the Arizona law and concern for the civil rights violations to which it will lead.”
The second resolution, sponsored by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, calls for the repeal of the Arizona law and also urges Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.
“The current lack of a comprehensive immigration policy has resulted in the breaking up of families, the exploitation of undocumented workers by employers (and) the deportation of workers who provide needed goods and services to their communities,” Villaraigosa’s resolution said.
It also condemned “the needless deaths of hundreds of people attempting to cross the border illegally under hazardous and deadly conditions.”