Jul. 8, 2010: The City of Boulder’s response to Arizona immigration law and continuing work on comprehensive immigration reform
July 8, 2010
Statement from the City of Boulder:
The City of Boulder’s response to Arizona immigration law and continuing work on comprehensive immigration reform
Since the City of Boulder’s travel ban to Arizona was announced in May, City Council and city leadership have received a significant amount of correspondence from people both within our immediate community and from other parts of the United States. Much of the information in this correspondence has been based on inaccurate characterizations of the city’s position. As a result, the city is issuing this statement in hopes of explaining the actions it has taken so far.
To clarify the facts:
- There never was a City of Boulder boycott on Arizona. There is a travel ban that applies to city employees for non-essential business purposes. This remains in effect.
- The City of Boulder is not considering a boycott at this time.
- In April, before the Arizona law passed, the city’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) had received community requests that the city take a position on federal comprehensive immigration reform. When the Arizona law took effect, HRC was instructed by City Council to develop a position both on that law and on federal comprehensive immigration reform.
- At a July 6 meeting, the City Council referred the matter back to the HRC directing the group to focus its work on the original issue of federal comprehensive immigration reform.
- The HRC is expected to return to City Council with revised positions for consideration in the fall, prior to its consideration of the 2011 legislative agenda.
- Several other governments and intergovernmental organizations throughout the nation have also responded to the Arizona law. Boulder is not alone in its actions, nor was it the first to act in response to the law.
On May 5, Boulder’s City Manager Jane Brautigam announced a ban on all official non-essential city travel to Arizona for city employees. This action was in response to the state of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law that gives police the power to check the documentation of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Opponents of this law have argued that it will lead to racial inequities and civil rights violations. In addition, city officials expressed concern that government employees who traveled to Arizona could be subjected to harassment based on the state’s law. The travel ban was limited to non-essential travel in order to recognize that there may be situations such as wildfire fighting assistance, aid in other natural disasters or law enforcement investigations where travel would be necessary.
At the same time, the city manager asked for a citywide review of the extent to which the city does business with entities in Arizona. This study did not lead to any boycott. Given that many of the services connected to Arizona were critical to city business and that these businesses were not responsible for the enactment or implementation of the law, there was never any recommendation made to sever these business ties.
On May 17, the HRC responded to a council directive that it draft positions on both the Arizona law and a nationwide push for comprehensive immigration reform. At a regularly scheduled meeting, the group discussed these issues and made a recommendation to City Council to adopt a resolution. This was scheduled to be considered by City Council at its next available meeting agenda, which due to the City Council recess in June, was July 6.
Prior to all City Council meetings, a group of city officials meets to discuss the draft agenda. On June 28, during this regular meeting, a suggestion was made that instead of voting on the resolution, council be given the opportunity on July 6 to provide feedback so that the HRC could revise the current draft and develop a more in-depth city position on comprehensive immigration reform.
As a result, City Council on July 6 referred the matter back to the HRC for the development of a position that focuses more solidly on comprehensive immigration reform.
Those interested in additional information can find it in the memo for the July 6, 2010, City Council meeting at: http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/files/Clerk/Agendas/2010/July_6/8B.pdf.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 October 2012 07:43