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US mayors pass resolution opposing Arizona immigration law

The US Conference of Mayors [official website] on Monday passed two resolutions [text, PDF] opposing Arizona's immigration law [SB 1070 materials; JURIST news archive] and supporting federal immigration reform at their annual conference in Oklahoma City. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon (D) [official profile] and three mayors outside Arizona submitted Resolution 41, which criticizes the state's immigration law as being "unconstitutional and un-American." Speaking at the conference, Gordon said that the nation's immigration system is "broken" [video] and that the new Arizona law will encourage criminals who profit from smuggling people into the US. The conference also passed Resolution 42, submitted by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) [official profile], which urges the federal government to reform the country's immigration law and prevent states from creating laws that fail to protect the rights of immigrants. Both resolutions were passed after securing at least two-thirds of a voice vote [AP report] at the conference, which was attended by about 200 mayors.

The US Conference of Mayors is a nonpartisan organization that represents thousands of US cities [press release, PDF] with populations of at least 30,000. The controversial Arizona bill, which was signed into law [JURIST report] in April by Governor Jan Brewer (R) [official website], will go into effect on July 29. Proponents of the law argue that it will discourage illegal immigration, while opponents contend it will lead to discriminatory police practices based on race. Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] seeking an injunction against implementation of the law. That lawsuit joined two others filed in April [JURIST report] questioning the constitutionality of the law. Last month, a group of UN human rights experts indicated the measure may violate international standards [JURIST report] that are binding on the US.

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