See for yourself. Here's an excerpt:
WHEREAS, on April 19, 2010, the Arizona
State Legislature passed the "Support Our
Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act," which Governor Jan Brewer signed into law on
April 23, 2010, calling the measure "another step forward in protecting the State of Arizona";
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED
SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE SENATE
CONCURRING, that this body hereby honors and commends the State of Arizona....
Yes, this resolution does nothing. Yes, there are more dangerous bills to worry about. Yes, this is just politics at its worst.
But, that's not the point.
The impact of this resolution is to send a message about TN's position in this national debate. And if that's the case, it couldn't be coming at a worse time.
Since the passage of SB1070, Arizona's tourism industry has taken a significant hit. At least 23 events have been cancelled in the last few weeks, costing the state of Arizona between $6 and $10 million already. Here are some notable examples of the backlash:
- San Francisco and St. Paul have banned public employees from traveling to Arizona on business. Los Angeles, and Oakland are considering similar actions. (source)
- Boston, New York, San Diego, and other cities passed boycotts or resolutions condemning Arizona, with considerations to future economic action. (source)
- Gov. Rick Perry of Texas (R-TX) and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) joined other conservative governors condemning the law, and refusing to sign similar legislation if introduced in their own states. (source)
- The Republican National Convention decided against Arizona, opting to take the 2012 convention to Tampa Bay, FL. (source)
- The Major League Baseball Players Association has issued a statement condemning SB1070, and the MLB is reportedly considering pulling the 2011 All-Star game out of the state, which could cost Arizona $150 million. (source)
- Just last week, Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon announced that his city was facing a "near economic crisis" because of SB1070 and the subsequent national boycott. A study was presented to the city council which estimated that Phoenix stood to lose upwards of $90 million dollars, in a worst case scenario. (source)
Why do we need to put Tennessee's name on something that is not only drawing serious criticism from all quarters, but also losing the State of Arizona significant tourism and income? We have enough of our own problems to be attaching our name to someone else's disaster.
Make no mistake, this economic fallout is coming because SB 1070 is mean-spirited, borderline unconstitutional, and targeted specifically at non-white immigrants. There are many businesses and institutions that are unwilling to support such a racially divisive piece of legislation. Creating new laws that mandate racial profiling is a step backwards for this country. It does not reflect our American values of equality and fairness.
The passage of HJR 1253 sends a clear message to all those businesses who have boycotted Arizona (or are considering boycotting Arizona) to please add TN to their list of unfriendly, unwelcoming states. As the boycott movement continues to grow, this resolution could certainly help institutions decide which additional states to avoid doing business with.
We should say one good thing about SB1170: It's trying to fill a void left by a federal government unwilling to reform our broken immigration system. It is filling that void with racism and failed enforcement tactics - but at least you can understand the desire of many folks to do something about our broken system.
Let's hope that Congress and the White House are paying attention. Because until Washington finds the courage to tackle immigration reform, we will be left with states coming up with their own "solutions."
Regardless of the cost.