Is Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson for or against illegal immigration? It depends on when you asked him. Kevin Johnson, who once played for the Phoenix Suns, announced he was joining Gavin Newsom’s boycott of Arizona. Later in the day Johnson told the Sacramento Bee he was not for a boycott. Apparently Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon asked Johnson to boycott the boycott.
The controversy centers around a new law passed in Arizona. SB 1070 simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime. The new law prohibits the harboring of illegal aliens and makes it a state crime for an alien to commit certain federal immigration crimes. It also requires police officers who, in the course of a traffic stop or other law-enforcement action, come to a “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal alien verify the person’s immigration status with the federal government.
Johnson announced in his personal blog that the Arizona law amounts to “discretionary bigotry”. Johnson is apparently unaware or has ignored the fact that the same law applies to the entire US and has since the 1940’s. At a time when Sacramento faces issues including budget cuts that are costing the Sacramento area residents police officers on the street, Mayor Johnson feels compelled to deal with issues in another state.
Many are calling for our local officials to worry about local issues like they were elected to do. In addition to Johnson and San Fransisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom, Councilman Kevin McCarty is also calling for a boycott of Arizona. McCarty supports symbolic gestures of displeasure with another state rather than working on the issues in Sacramento.