Colombian pop tart Shakira will be in town this week to lend her voice to the chorus of those opposing the state's racist new immigration law.
She'll travel to Phoenix Thursday to meet with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and discuss what she can do to help combat racial profiling. Hopefully, the mayor will be able to stay focused during the meeting, and, no, I don't mean on Shakira's comely figure.
Maybe the Latin she-wolf, as some call her, could ride in a decoy car to draw the scrutiny of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's goons in the sheriff's upcoming anti-immigrant sweep, which the sheriff's said will take place by Saturday, May 1. The sheriff insists his sweeps will be bolstered by the new law.
Might I suggest she ride shotgun sans papers, and when asked if she's legal by MCSO deputies, tell them that her "hips don't lie."
Perhaps due to reports that five city council members were lining up to oppose his proposed suit against the state's new immigration law, Mayor Gordon informed the council today that he will go it alone in his capacity as mayor.
According to Gordon aide Bill Scheel, Gordon researched the issue with the assistance of Phoenix city attorney Gary Verburg. He concluded that the city's charter empowers him to pursue a lawsuit without the council's approval.
Scheel said the lawsuit against state Senator Russell Pearce's pro-racial profiling law will use outside counsel, paid for with private funds. Scheel informed me the outside counsel will be former U.S. Attorney Jose Rivera.
Gordon's to be congratulated for his move. During a service this Sunday at the First Institutional Baptist Church, with Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez as the guest of honor, Gordon promised congregants that he would fight the law, and vowed that it will never be enacted in the City of Phoenix.
At the time, I wondered how he could make such a promise, given that he was practically guaranteed to encounter opposition over the cost of a city lawsuit seeking to stop the measure, which will require local law enforcement to check the immigration status of all those they suspect of being in the country illegally.
I'm guessing Gordon already had this move in mind, or something like it. Gordon's taken the lead in speaking out against the new law, just as he took the lead in denouncing Sheriff Joe Arpaio's racist, anti-immigrant sweeps, and seeking a U.S. Justice Department investigation of Arpaio.
In much the same way that President Bill Clinton was referred to -- pre-Obama -- as America's "first black president," it sometimes seems as if Gordon is working to be known as Phoenix's "first Latino mayor."
As there's no immediate benefit for Gordon, save the praise he receives in liberal and Hispanic circles, I have to give him props. He seems to be motivated by a conviction that what he's doing is right. To be sure, Gordon may be engendering goodwill for a future political run, but for the moment, he could just as well keep quiet, with no ill effect for himself.
In other SB 1070-related news, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has called 1070 a "racist law," that's "disgusting" and "unnecessary." He told Tucson TV news station KGUN9 that he will not go along with it.
In California, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced today that city workers will be banned from official travel to Arizona, as part of an ever-widening boycott of the Grand Canyon state because of SB 1070.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also weighed in during a news conference in D.C., stating a federal challenge to Arizona's legislation was possible, and that DOJ lawyers are reviewing it to see what action might be necessary.
"We are considering all possibilities, including the possibility of a court challenge," the Wall Street Journal quotes him as saying.
Even Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina jumped on the bandwagon today, calling the law "unconstitutional" and asserting that it "doesn't represent the best way forward," according to CBS News.
Mark my words, this law will end up being more unpopular than the prohibition of alcohol, or the introduction of New Coke. I just hope the bill's sponsor Russell Pearce recieves all the hatred he deserves over it.
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