Top Calif. Lawmaker: Cut Ties With Arizona

Senate leader calls immigration law unconstitutional

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 11:45 AM PDT
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PHOENIX - APRIL 25: Opponents of Arizona's new immigration enforcement law protest outside the state capitol building on April 25, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 1,000 gathered to protest the passage of Arizona's tough new law which was signed by the state's Republican governor Jan Brewer two days before. Critics of the law say that it will encourage racial profiling by law enforcement and endanger civil rights in the state. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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San Francisco's push to boycott Arizona because of its new stringent immigration law could be headed for the state level.

Arizona's controversial new law, which goes into effect this summer, makes it a crime under state law for anyone to be in the U.S illegally.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Monday called for the City to discontinue business with Arizona in protest over what he calls a "Draconian law."

Now, California Senate President Darrell Steinberg is joining the call for the state to take a stand and sent a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger saying the law amounts to racial profiling and urged the governor to cancel the state's contracts with Arizona.

Here's a portion of Steinberg's letter:

The Arizona law is as unconscionable as it is unconstitutional, and the state of California should not be using taxpayer dollars to support such a policy. For that reason, I respectfully request that you provide me with information about all existing and proposed contracts between the state of California and any businesses or governments in Arizona.

Steinberg also wants to, "ensure that no new contracts are negotiated until Arizona's law is effectively repealed."

Schwarzenegger has not yet replied to Steinberg but pointed out to reporters that immigration issues are the decision of the federal government.

"I urge the federal government to get their act together," the governor said in a news conference.

The governor's spokesman, Aaron McLear, said Schwarzenegger does not support the Arizona law but they need to review the impact a boycott would have on California's "budget and job creation-efforts."

According to the state Department of General Services, California has awarded contracts to 73 private companies based in Arizona worth a combined $10.3 million. The services ranged from computer manufacturers and human resources to janitorial suppliers. But the state departments, like water and transportation services, can enter contracts without approval from General Services so that number is somewhat misrepresented.
 

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