Hayward may join fellow Bay Area cities, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and San Jose in protesting Arizona’s immigration law. Unlike the various “boycotts” issued by the other cities, a copy of the proposed letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer simply asks the state to reevaluate the statute and work with leaders in Washington to find a more amiable solution.
Some cities have backtracked on some of their actions towards Arizona companies. The most notable instance being reports an Arizona firm which produces red-light camera services for the City of Los Angeles was cleared to do business after leaders in the city deemed the exception necessary for public safety.
Four of the seven councilmembers–a majority–called for city staff to put the resolution on tomorrow’s agenda and draft a correspondence. A memo from City Manager Fran David says the economic impact on the city is unknown and without any known fiscal impacts on the city’s general fund.
The City of Hayward is composed of an extremely diverse population, of which a large portion is compose of immigrants from Spanish-speaking and other countries. Currently, our demographic composition is 29% Caucasian, 34% Hispanic or Latino, 21% Asian, 11% African American, and 5% Other (includes mixed races). As such, our City values the contributions make to the richness of our community by both citizens and immigrants.
The City of Hayward understands that illegal immigration is a complex and divisive issue for all communities, particularly in border states like California and Arizona. We also believe that immigration policy is a national priority, which requires a thoughtful solution at the federal level if we are to make any national headway on this issue.
It is unfortunate that the State of Arizona, in a solitary effort to stem the tide of illegal immigration into your state, has passed a strict immigration law making the failure to carry immigration papers a crime, and giving the Arizona police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the United States illegally, with little or no cause. Like others, the City of Hayward believe such policies taken to their most negative limit could easily lead to racial profiling and, therefore, to the public’s mistrust of our local police officers.
The City of Hayward is encouraging our federal representatives to turn their skill and attention to reforming United States immigration laws and procedures, giving thought to the jobless rate and limited resources in this country, the economic plight of those living in others countries, and the basic instinct of all peoples to seek a better life for themselves and their families. We encourage such federal legislation to be drafted and implemented with respect for the rights of all, immigrants and United States-born citizens alike; and to provide for implementation policies that address the need to control and prevent illegal immigration to this country through all borders, while allowing the United States of America to legally lead the way in sharing its resources and opportunities with others in the world.
We encourage the State of Arizona to set aside its new State law and to work with other border states like California to strongly encourage our national leader to enact these appropriate and desperately needed reforms, legislation, and procedures at the federal level.