Boycotting Arizona

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 28, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Our next guest wants a boycott of Arizona. Los Angeles city councilman Tony Cardenas wants L.A. to stop doing official business with Arizona because of Arizona's illegal immigration law. Councilman Cardenas joins us live. Good evening, sir.

TONY CARDENAS, LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCILMAN: Good evening. Pleasure to be here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you, sir. Sir, are you opposed to the entire law that the state of Arizona has passed, or is it just portions of it?

CARDENAS: Well, I'm opposed to most of it. The part that's most egregious is the fact that they're giving the authority and the responsibility and demanding that any law enforcement officer in the state of Arizona is required, if they think that somebody looks suspicious, that they might be here without documentation, that they have the right to question them and then detain them. And if they can't prove that they're an American citizen, and then actually turn them over to ICE.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, it's sort of -- if they suspect that he is -- he or she is from another country, is it your understanding that the person -- that the person will be stopped, or is it your understanding the person is suspected of doing something like casing a joint or doing some -- you know, something like that, something...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... that would likely be a crime?

CARDENAS: I actually read SB 1070 and I actually read some other information on it, as well, and I confirm with my mind and me reading it, having been a former state legislator myself and a current elected official for the city of Los Angeles. The way it reads is, basically, if the officer feels -- it's their discretion. If they feel that they are suspect of being here without documentation, that they can, in fact, ask them to confirm.

And if they can't confirm, then they have the right to detain them and go as far as turning them over to ICE, which would certainly put a dent in anybody's day, whether it's a businessperson, whether doing work or actually strolling down the street or driving a car.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I'm going to have to go back and just review -- I confess I have to take another look at the statute to see whether or not it's whether they suspect the person of being here illegally or suspect the person of some criminal conduct. But I'll go back and check that. All right...

CARDENAS: Some portions of it do talk about -- some portions of the bill do talk about potential criminal conduct, if they see or suspect that they're engaged in criminal conduct. But it also gives them the right to, if they're suspect in the sense that they feel that they may be here illegally or be here without documentation, they can go ahead and detain them and even turn them over to ICE.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Sir, in terms of a boycott, I'm curious, how much business does Los Angeles have in Arizona now?

CARDENAS: Well, we don't normally track the business we have specifically with Arizona, but we're the second largest city in the country and we're a tremendous economy. Our city budget, just the general fund alone is over $4 billion dollars. So we purchase products and do business with other countries, with the state of California and states around this country, as well. So it's inevitable that we have some business with the state of the California today.

VAN SUSTEREN: You mean with the state of Arizona. With the state of Arizona.

CARDENAS: I'm sorry! With the state of Arizona. Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: I hope you have business with the state of California, or you're in deep trouble!


CARDENAS: Yes, I hope.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your economy is pretty rough. I don't even know why you're doing any business in Arizona with the state of the California economy. So I'm not even sure that -- even that's a little bit unusual to me.

All right, now, are you actually calling for the boycott, or I mean, what's -- what's the method that you're going to follow to attempt to achieve a boycott of Arizona?

CARDENAS: Basically, my colleagues and myself have signed a resolution stating that as long as this law is in effect in the state of Arizona, we will choose to boycott the state of Arizona and encourage our constituents of the city of Los Angeles to boycott the state of Arizona. That is, doing business with them, going to Arizona. Tourism is a big part of the state of Arizona, and a lot of Californians do tour Nevada, Arizona, many states adjacent to us.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, we...

CARDENAS: So it's...

VAN SUSTEREN: We only have a minute left, so tell me -- we only have a minute left. What should we do about illegal immigration?

CARDENAS: Well, first of all, we should go ahead and allow the federal government to enforce the laws and...

VAN SUSTEREN: They haven't.

CARDENAS: ... improve those laws.

VAN SUSTEREN: They haven't. I -- I mean, we -- yes, I don't know if you saw, we started the show (INAUDIBLE) going back to President Reagan. We didn't show that (INAUDIBLE)


VAN SUSTEREN: But everyone keeps talking about secure the borders. That hasn't been done.

CARDENAS: But -- sure, but this is an irresponsible law because people get elected to be responsible and level-headed, not to just act in a rash way and do things that potentially could be unconstitutional and treat people differently. On top of that...

VAN SUSTEREN: Would you...

CARDENAS: ... we have police chiefs and sheriffs around the country that say laws like this actually hurt...

VAN SUSTEREN: But getting back to the -- but getting back to the -- I got that bite and I understand you believe the statute unconstitutional. A court will decide that. But I mean, what do -- how do -- how do you get the federal government to secure the borders?

CARDENAS: Well, you know, we elect people. They need to do their jobs. The president would love to sign something. He said it himself. But at the same time, they need to do their job over there. However, it doesn't give us the right -- or we're being irresponsible if we pass local laws that are unconstitutional or that treat people differently. And this law is actually going to hurt public safety because if people aren't -- don't feel comfortable reporting crimes, then that's going to hurt public safety in all communities in Arizona.

VAN SUSTEREN: Councilman, thank you very much. I hope you'll come back to the show as this story progresses.

CARDENAS: I look forward to it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you sir.

CARDENAS: All right. Thank you.

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