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L.A. Passes Arizona Ban

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Photo by Malingering via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

As expected, the Los Angeles City Council today passed a resolution limiting the city's dealings with Arizona-based businesses and opposing any federal immigration legislation that's based on racial profiling or discrimination. The move was approved by every councilmember except Greig Smith, who represents one of the most conservative parts of the city in the Northwest San Fernando Valley.

Before the vote, Janice Hahn, one of resolution's authors, offered her reasoning to why do this when the city is facing a budget crisis. "There are few times, I think, in our lives when we have the opportunity to stand up and be counted and say, 'when wrong is wrong and when good is good,' and we know bad things happen when good people do not stand up and say something," she said. "Let's stand up today and say yes for what we believe what should America look like and behave like."

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Councilman Paul Koretz stood up and took issue with another recent Arizona decision about education. As explained by the Wall Street Journal, "the Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English."

Koretz said that if that were a federal law, it would be "the very beginning of what went on in Nazi Germany." He added that Arizona "needs to be stunned in every possible way until they stop this behavior. We can't let this advance any further, this is absolutely dangerous."

Councilmember Richard Alarcon then entered an amending motion seeking to offer Arizona-based businesses incentives to move to Los Angeles. Various city agencies are instructed to develop and present a plan within thirty days on a package of incentives to offer to them.

Many others spoke, including Bill Rosendahl who said that he's openly gay and still faces discrimination. And Eric Garcetti noted Arizona currently has the worst economy in the country while Texas, which also deals with immigration issues as a border state, has the fastest growing economy. He also pointed out that the state banned animal-human hybrids. "Because that seems to be the most pressing problem, too," he sniped.

Smith, the sole dissenting voter, did not speak during the debate.