Ronald W. Mortensen, Center for Immigration Studies, June 28, 2010
The Los Angeles City Council was quick to vote to boycott Arizona because of its new immigration law.
The Arizona law will encourage racial profiling, huffed the council’s Resolution.
It’s like Nazi Germany and the beginning of the Holocaust, puffed Council members.
“As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport,” exaggerated Councilman Ed Reyes. “If I come across an officer who’s having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be . . . deported, no questions asked. That is not American.”
“The fact is, if we chose to ignore what happened in the South in the 60s, we’d still have the kind of discriminatory laws that were being proposed back then, said Reyes.
But then reality set in. If Los Angeles were to do everything possible to address the Arizona law, it could face some real hardships–like the loss of some airline service, power shortages, and even the city’s beloved red light cameras.
So, in order not to let principle get in the way of business, Councilman Reyes assured everyone that Los Angeles’ strongly held convictions about the Arizona law only went so far; or as Hugh Hewitt noted, “The city leaders did not, however, declare their desire for the Lakers to forfeit games scheduled in the series with the [Phoenix] Suns. There’s a limit to the posers’ enthusiasms for their ‘convictions.'”
“We’re being very methodical,” Reyes said. “We’re not going to be wreckless [sic] here. We want to evaluate the legal impacts.”
“We must say stop . . . this is a law that we think is wrong. It’s going in the wrong direction,” Councilwoman Janice Hahn said, before adding that it would be “impractical” to cancel most of the $52 million in contracts various city entities have with Arizona and that maybe $7 or $8 million in cuts could be found.
So, the bottom line is that in spite of charges of segregation, racial profiling, Nazism, a new holocaust, and the arbitrary arrest and deportation of American citizens, the Los Angeles City Council was willing to cancel a measly 15 percent of its contracts with Arizona.
And then several weeks later came an “oops” minute.
“Oops,” someone apparently said when the council members realized that they had voted to cancel the contract for red light cameras, which must be one of their favorite programs.
So, the council voted to exempt the Arizona company that provides the red light cameras from the boycott even though, according to council members, terrible things were going to happen in Arizona unless they boycotted Arizona.
If the Arizona law is really as bad as Los Angeles City politicians say it is, why aren’t they willing to cancel all of the city’s contracts with Arizona? After all, if this is about the noble principles they say it is then they should be willing to sacrifice electricity for their homes, airplanes at the gate, and even red light cameras in order to send a strong message to Arizona and the rest of the nation.
When all is said and done, this appears to be more about political posturing than about standing up for deeply held convictions and being willing to sacrifice for what one really believes in.