L.A. officials brush off Arizona threat to cut off power

15:15, May 20, 2010      

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Los Angeles officials vowed on Wednesday that they will not bow to a threat from Arizona to cut off power to the city.

Gary Pierce, one of five commissioners on the Arizona Corporation Commission, said earlier in the day that the state will cut off power to Los Angeles in retaliation for an economic boycott against Arizona over its tough new immigration law.

Pierce made the threat in a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

In response to the threat, Villaraigosa's press office issued a statement, saying the mayor is "strongly behind the City Council on this issue, and will not respond to threats from a state which has isolated itself from the America that values freedom, liberty and basic civil rights."

The Los Angeles City Council voted on May 12 to suspend all city- related travel to Arizona, stop entering into new contracts with Arizona-based companies, and review existing contracts to determine which can be legally terminated.

The boycott was initiated after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act on April 23, which makes it illegal to be in Arizona without proper documentation.

The measure, which takes effect around August, authorizes local law enforcement to investigate a person's immigration status whenever there is a reasonable suspicion that the individual is in the country illegally. However, it bars solely using race, color, or national origin to question suspected illegal immigrants.



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