National Mayors Group Condemns 'Un-American' Arizona Immigration Law

America's mayors on Monday went on record in opposition to Arizona's immigration law, voting for a pair of resolutions that would amount to one of the broadest condemnations to date of the policy.

The resolutions approved by voice vote from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon were among dozens considered at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Oklahoma City.

Villaraigosa's resolution condemns the Arizona law as "unconstitutional and un-American" and calls for its immediate repeal. The other puts the Conference of Mayors in support of lawsuits challenging the policy and in opposition to the enactment of any laws "similar" to Arizona's. Both measures call on Washington to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Gordon told after the vote that it was important to get the organization on record so that the conference as a whole can advocate for these positions. He said the conference would push for immigration reform in Washington but also actively oppose any effort to pass a "copycat" Arizona law in other states.

"That's not only a powerful message, but it's a powerful lobbying group now," Gordon said. He said big-city mayors like Michael Bloomberg in New York and Richard M. Daley in Chicago were supportive of his resolution.

Elena Temple, spokeswoman for the Conference of Mayors, said the statements would become the "official policy" of the organization.

Close to 200 mayors were in attendance to vote on the measures brought by Villaraigosa and Gordon, two of the Arizona law's toughest critics. Temple said only a handful of mayors spoke out against the nonbinding measures.

The law has drawn a sharply divided response from jurisdictions across the country. In Arizona alone, several cities have signed onto a federal lawsuit -- which Gov. Jan Brewer has sought to dismiss -- challenging the policy. Los Angeles and a number of other cities have also imposed economic "boycotts" on Arizona to register their disapproval of the law, though the Conference of Mayors resolutions provide a more unified statement.

But lawmakers in other states have drawn inspiration from the law, pursuing legislation that mirrors the controversial policy for their constituents.

Texas Republicans at their state convention over the weekend made pushing for a law like Arizona's part of their official party agenda.

The Arizona law would make illegal immigration a state crime. It requires local law enforcement to try to determine the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant provided they don't stop and question them for that reason alone.

The law is scheduled to take effect July 29.