Update 7/16 – Border governors to meet in New Mexico. This year’s annual meeting of border governors, set for Sept., has officially been moved to Santa Fe, courtesy of that state’s governor, Bill Richardson. Arizona Gov. Brewer, who canceled the meeting in her state after Mexico’s border governors refused to attend, said she won’t be making it to the festivities. (Perhaps she doesn’t like going to places that have Mexico in the name.) Texas Gov. Rick Perry will also be absent apparently since he said he’d only attend if the conference where held in Arizona. This cross-border tantrum might help bolster the Justice Department’s arguments in court next week that Arizona’s anti-immigrant law is interfering with foreign policy matters and should be blocked from going into effect. Richardson, by the way, nicely puts this argument in the context of being a border governor in the next issue of Americas Quarterly. You’ll also find Brewer’s usual spiel on immigration there, too.
Oh, Arizona. As we count down to July 29, when the anti-immigrant law SB 1070, is to go into effect, a day doesn’t go by without some flash of news from the Hate State.
The latest: the six governors of Mexico’s border states have basically said there’s no way in hell they’re stepping foot in Arizona for the annual meeting of border governors.
Yes, as fate would have it, this year is Arizona’s turn to host the 30-year-old annual conference in September. The Mexican border governors are refusing to attend anything hosted by Arizona because, in their words, SB 1070 is “based on ethnic and cultural prejudices that are contrary to fundamental human rights.”
(Note: They might also not want to visit the home state of the two-faced Sen. John McCain who declared this week, “No amnesty. Many of them need to be sent back.”)
And what exactly was Gov. Jan Brewer’s reply to the Mexican governors? Fine, you don’t want to come to the party, screw you then. The whole party’s off. How ya like them apples?
Brewer, who apparently likes to blame Mexicans for just about everything, said the Mexican governors gave her no other option but to cancel the entire conference. Only problem is she didn’t check in with any of the other governors this side of the frontera.
“Governor Brewer doesn’t have the authority to cancel the Border Governors Conference,” Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, told several media outlets. Richardson (aka, El Unico Latino Governor in the U.S.) has said he’ll find a new site for the conference and he has the support of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who hosted the conference in 2008. The 2009 conference took place in Monterrey.
The six Mexican border governors sent Brewer a letter in Spanish on June 9 noting that SB 1070 is “based on ethnic and cultural prejudices that are contrary to fundamental human rights.” They wrote that they’d still attend the conference if it were held in any place but Arizona, like New Mexico, California or Texas.
Brewer’s written response to the Mexican governors included an invitation for them to come to Arizona and talk with police officers who are going to oversee the implementation of SB 1070. Doing so, she wrote, would help the governors understand “the myths that have been created about what the law requires or allows.”
Apparently, the Department of Justice thinks there’s a little more than just myth. It filed its lawsuit on Tuesday to stop the law from going into effect, claiming it violates the federal jurisdiction over immigration matters.
Brewer is now peeved that she’s not getting more support from Richardson and Schwarzenegger. She told the Arizona Daily Star: “I would have liked to believe that they would have shown support for the governor of Arizona and for the people of Arizona.”
As for the conference, she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to make it now. “I’d have to look at my schedule,” she said.