Opponents of Arizona's new immigration enforcement law protest outside the state capitol building on April 25, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 1,000 gathered to protest the passage of Arizona's tough new law which was signed by the state's Republican governor Jan Brewer two days before. Critics of the law say that it will encourage racial profiling by law enforcement and endanger civil rights in the state.
After hearing people speak on the issue, the board voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of a resolution that denounces Arizona measure, SB1070. It allows state and local law enforcement to check someone's immigration status with reasonable cause.
“It’s very painful when a state says to its citizens you can’t walk along the streets and be safe,” said San Diego Unified School District board member Shelia Jackson.
“We have to make it our business,” she said. “Each and every person in this room has to make it our business. If no one speaks up then this law will spread.”
Many of the speakers supported the resolution during the hourlong discussion. "With your vote today, you can send a message to those families that this law is unconstitutional and it is wrong,” said Ricardo Flores, president of the Chicano Democratic Association of San Diego.
Not everyone who spoke agreed that it was the board's place to be involved in the issue.
Sheila Bowling told the board that they had a lot of work to do without borrowing trouble. “Stop using taxpayers money and time to worry about something you have no jurisdiction or authority over,” Bowling said.
“You’re supposed to educate the children, you’re not supposed to be taking up these issues and dividing us,” said one woman.
“This issue should not have been brought up at a school board. It’s sad that it is and I think it’s disgraceful,” she said to cheers in the crowd.
“There are a lot of issues a lot of us believe you’re not dealing with,” Scott Barnett, a parent of two daughters in the district told the board but he commended the board for addressing the Arizona law.
The resolution had initially warned students about traveling to Arizona, however that part was removed by an amendment.
The district may still develop a policy restricting participation in conferences in Arizona.