Carmen Rubio, Jose Ibarra and Dan Steffey: Must... stop... Arizona
  • Carmen Rubio, Jose Ibarra and Dan Steffey: Must... stop... Arizona

Portland City Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution condemning Arizona's controversial racial profiling law, SB 1070, and supporting those cities in Arizona which are fighting the law.

The condemnation doesn't actually, well, DO anything like lock Portland into boycotting Arizona products. The city attorney looked into whether a Portland boycott of Arizona would be legal and came up with the answer: nope. Oregon's state purchasing laws don't allow the state to discriminate against a specific other state's goods.

But the vote does put on the record Portland's support of immigrants and sane immigration law. It's a symbolic act. Sort of like renaming a street after Cesar Chavez.

Before the vote, Commissioner Amanda Fritz launched into a little "I AM IMMIGRANT!" speech that put the whole condemnation into harsh perspective by pointing out that Oregon isn't holier-than-thou when it comes to issues of racism.

"We were looking at the appropriate response to the Arizona law, having known that, for instance, the
State of Black Oregon report published last year showed no progress for African-Americans living in Oregon in the last 15 years. Oregon, along with 28 other states, has yet to put legislation on the books prohibiting racial profiling in traffic stops and we know people of color are stopped and arrested a disproportionate amount of times. We need to put our own house in order at the same time as we ask our attorneys to look into the legality of Arizona's law."

Fritz received a round of applause from the audience as she closed her oration, "Our federal immigration laws are tearing families apart."