By Tracy Dingmann
Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño remembers what happened last May when he and fellow councilor Ken Sanchez introduced a measure calling for Albuquerque to stop doing business with Arizona over its controversial immigration law.
His city email and phone were besieged with calls from people telling the Albuquerque native to “Go back to Mexico” and stop being a “wetback lover.”
So it was somewhat satisfying for Garduño to hear that a federal judge in Arizona scaled back the law just before it was about to take effect on July 29. The judge struck down the most controversial parts of the law, under the premise that Arizona cannot not preempt federal law by making state laws on immigration.
Now banned are the provisions that would have forced local law enforcement to check the immigration status of those who they suspected were in the county illegally.
Relieved The Law Was Struck Down
Like many others who protested the law, Garduño believed it went beyond concerns about illegal immigration and would have invited abuses of citizens and non-citizens alike.
“My first thought was that I was glad that at least the judge realized how egregious this law is, and made sure that the parts that are flawed are not implemented or made into law,” Garduño said last week.
“The law is about wanting to make sure that people we don’t like or don’t agree with or don’t seem like the rest of us are criminalized and denigrated,” said Garduño.
“The parts that were taken out by the judge speak to the concerns that many of us had. The whole idea of wholesale just stopping folks, because someone thinks that someone is not, in their terms, documented. It gives police agencies carte blanche to do whatever they want. And racial profiling would occur as a result.”
“It’s just not the way this country should be run.”
Back in May, Garduño and fellow city councilor Ken Sanchez introduced a proposal for the city of Albuquerque to suspend financial business with the state of Arizona as long as the law is in effect.