City Council Votes to Oppose Ariz. Law

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Diego's city council voted overwhelmingly Monday to adopt a resolution calling for the repeal of the law targeting illegal immigrants.

    Meeting to hear public comment prior to voting, three dozen supporters of the resolution addressed the City Council, but nobody spoke up to support the Arizona law that sparked May Day protests around the nation.

    The law requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally, and it makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

    In a poll published Tuesday morning in the New York Times, the majority of Americans support the law , even though they say it may lead to racial profiling.

    A majority of the people polled, 57 percent, said the federal government should determine the laws addressing illegal immigration, the NY Times reports, but 51 percent said the Arizona law was “about right” in its approach to the problem. According to Tuesday's article, 36 percent of those polled said it went too far and 9 percent said it did not go far enough.

    San Diego's mayor Jerry Sanders said he'll sign the resolution. San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne lent his support, saying immigration law enforcement is the jurisdiction of federal agents.

    "Now we go into an area of WWB -- 'Walking While Brown'," said San Diego Unified School District Trustee Shelia Jackson. "What this will do is be devastating not only to Arizona but to the entire country. Parents are concerned that their children, walking, can be stopped at any minute and deported. This is serious business."

    San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio cast the only dissenting vote on Monday.

    DeMaio voted "no" because, among other reasons, he believed the language in the resolution passed in San Diego did not reflect changes made in the law via a follow-on bill passed on Friday in Arizona. 

    "If we are willing to speak  out against Arizona's reaction to a problem, we should be willing to speak out against the cause of that problem -- the federal government's continued inability to secure our border," DeMaio said.

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed a follow-on bill approved by Arizona legislators that makes revisions to the state’s sweeping law against illegal immigration. She said the changes should quell concerns that the measure will lead to racial profiling.

    Brewer said the changes should lay to rest concerns of opponents.

    “These new statements make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal, and will not be tolerated in Arizona,” she said in a statement.

    The changes include one strengthening restrictions against using race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning by the police and inserting those same restrictions in other parts of the law. Another change states that questions of immigration status would follow a law enforcement officer’s stopping, detaining or arresting a person while enforcing another law. The earlier law had referred to a “contact” with police.

    Another change specifies that possible violations of local civil ordinances can trigger questioning on immigration status.

    The West Hollywood City Council voted 5-0 to boycott Arizona Monday. City leaders in Santa Ana also voted to condemn the Arizona law Monday. Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez told the Orange County Register she fears that any member of the city's all-Latino council could be stopped and questioned under the provisions of that law. "We're all citizens here," she said, "but they have the right to do that under the Arizona law."

    The Carson City Council is scheduled to vote on a similar resolution Tuesday, according to the Sacramento Bee.

    Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.