Tacoma passes resolution against Arizona's controversial immigration law

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by LORI MATSUKAWA / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 25, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 1 at 10:14 AM

TACOMA, Wash. – The city of Tacoma has passed a resolution against Arizona's new immigration law and is asking that state to rescind the law. But the city is not going so far as to boycott Arizona.

The Tacoma City Council passed the resolution by a 5-to-3 vote with one person abstaining. The resolution asks Arizona to rescind the law and demands that the Obama Administration enact comprehensive immigration reform.

The law, which takes effect July 29, requires Arizona authorities to check the immigration status of suspicious people. The resolution's sponsor says the law is unconstitutional.

The vote had been postponed a week so that the entire council could vote on the matter.

The resolution needed five votes to pass, and even as the meeting got underway, the co-sponsor, Councilman Ryan Mello wouldn't guarantee it would pass.

Mello says the Arizona law is unconstitutional and sends the wrong message about how police and citizens should relate to one another.

"The relationship between average citizens like you and I, policemen are so important that we have to send a strong message, that we have that really strong relationship between law enforcement and average citizens about how we're treated and our civil liberties are protected," he said.

Dozens of citizens showed up at the meeting – some in support and some in opposition of the resolution.

A KING 5 SurveyUSA poll taken a week earlier showed of 412 people surveyed, 57 percent of Tacoma residents support Arizona's law and 72 percent wanted to continue doing business with the state.

Mello and co-sponsor Lauren Walker revised the language in the resolution, taking out references to a "boycott." Only a fifth of those surveyed said they supported such a boycott.
 

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