In a bold move, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he’d banned city workers from traveling to Arizona for official business after the state enacted a draconian immigration law.
The moratorium on city travel to Arizona will except law enforcement employees investigating crimes. The mayor is facing pressure to respond strongly to the new law, which orders police to determine the immigration status of anyone they “reasonably” suspect to be in the country illegally.
Newsom, while blasting the Arizona law as “unacceptable,” has expressed skepticism about unintended consequences from a city-instituted boycott, including opening up San Francisco to lawsuits if it includes rescinding already-awarded contracts. He also questioned what companies it would cover.
To address those questions, the mayor today convened a taskforce that includes representatives from the City Attorney’s Office, Controller, city purchasing office and his chief of staff to look at a “smart and effective” targeted boycott, Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said.
The recommendations from that group will form the basis of a proposed ordinance that would be binding on the city if approved by the board and signed by the mayor, Winnicker said.
A state senator in California has called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to end state contracts with Arizona to protest the law.
“It’s a civil-rights issue whenever you set somebody aside because of the color of their skin or where they come from,” said California Senate president Darrell Steinberg. “And that applies to both legal immigrants, citizens and undocumented immigrants. I mean, how do you define reasonable suspicion? There’s only one way under that law. And it’s somebody who looks Mexican. Period.”
More on Steinberg’s boycott call can be read here.