OTR Interviews

Phoenix Mayor, Opposed to Ariz. Immigration Law, Says Please Don't Boycott Us

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is slamming his state's illegal immigration law, and he is slamming us, the media. Why? Griff Jenkins face to face with Mayor Gordon.


GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Mr. Mayor, the new immigration law -- it's been about a month since it's passed. How do you see it playing on the ground here?

PHOENIX MAYOR PHIL GORDON, D - ARIZ.: Well, unfortunately, it's added another dimension to splitting the community over this debate in terms of immigration and getting immigration reform, comprehensive. It's also created now economic hardship before it's gone into effect, which will be another 70 or 80 days -- a lot of boycotts, as has been reported nationally, from cities and organizations across the United States at a time that we could ill afford it. We were just starting to see recovery. One, I just plead with everybody not to be boycotting Arizona and Phoenix. It hurts everybody.

And two, what we should be focused on and why I've opposed this law -- besides the economic hardship and the splitting of our community and the fact that it really doesn't make us any safer, just actually takes police off the street to go after those individuals that the federal government should have been regulating with a comprehensive immigration and border security policy.

JENKINS: You mention boycotts, and there's been a lot of talk of them from outside Arizona, as well as inside. Is it your sense that some of this is political, for political gain, or do you believe this is a added financial impact that's going to become a reality soon?

GORDON: Well, I think, unfortunately, a small portion of it, as is the case in the entire comprehensive immigration reform debate, on both sides of the spectrum is political (SIC) motivated. I think there are, unfortunately, individuals that don't want this issue solved, that see it as a significant wedge issue that would benefit themselves in political office.

JENKINS: There are a lot of things on the Web about some comments you made last week suggesting that the media, specifically the repeal of the fairness doctrine, might have played a part in where we are. What did you mean?

GORDON: Well, it's not to lay blame or to point fingers. It's to say that the national debate on not only immigration but other issues is now certainly what the electronic age played out in the media, where the ability to have a long discussion with the facts is very limited.

And then two is, with the fairness doctrine that required some balanced approach with sort of two sides always having equal time -- took away some of that ability, and then last week, the ability to regulate not the content but the manner of expression, you know, in some cases we've seen on both sides of this debate, far right, far left, extreme language that really only contributes to the potential for violence, or certainly, the extreme rhetoric that contributes to a lot of hate and allows a lot of hate groups again on the left and right to sort of have cover to wave their flag.


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