Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Mayor Coleman bans city-paid travel to Arizona because of state’s new immigration law


St. Paul employees are banned from city-paid travel to Arizona because of the new immigration law there, Mayor Chris Coleman announced this morning.

It’s not clear how often they go there anyway, but it’s the principle of the thing, apparently.

City officials are checking to see if any conference travel plans have to be canceled; city employees have traveled there for conferences and meetings in the past.

Coleman said the city is joining other cities and organizations in boycotting the state. The law requires police to question people about their immigration status — including asking for identification — if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. And it toughens restrictions on hiring illegal immigrants for day labor and knowingly transporting them.

Said Coleman:

“This law sets a dangerous example for the rest of the country. It will create a culture where racial profiling is acceptable, and will create a dangerous wedge between police officers and the communities they serve. We’ve seen what can be done through partnering with immigrant communities and its effects on issues such as domestic violence rates, violent crime, and overall community safety.

Article continues after advertisement

“It would be immoral to not stand up in the face of a piece of legislation that is rooted in hate and fear. We are a country of immigrants — and SB 1070 is an affront to our constitution and the values we hold dear as Americans. It’s not worthy of who we are as a people — and it’s certainly not worthy of the investment of any city dollars being spent in Arizona.

“I can’t imagine what it would have been like for my grandmother had they passed a similar anti-Irish law. Today I choose to stand with the millions of immigrants in our City and across the country who should have access to the same level of safety and opportunity as everyone else.”