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L.A. Declares August as Immigrant Pride Month

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Photo: Salina Canizales via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo: Salina Canizales via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
With Arizona's controversial SB 1070 law set to become law next week Friday, the city of Los Angeles today approved a resolution declaring August as Immigrant Pride Month. The city of Los Angeles is made up of 1.6 million -- that's 40% of the population -- immigrants, according to the proposal's authors, Councilmembers Ed Reyes and Jose Huizar.The move is meant to be "a positive counter example" to the SB 1070, which instructs officers to ask about immigration status when there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is an illegal immigrant.

"This is a city that celebrates all people wherever they come from," said Huizar. "No one should be held to a higher standard simply because of characteristics someone may think they have that is different from the norm, whatever that norm may be. That norm is very diverse, it comes in different colors, different flavors, and so, we hope this law is struck down."

Council President Eric Garcetti said this wasn't the first time the city has done such a move, but opined there is "no year has it felt as important as this one." Earlier this year, the city boycotted Arizona, but still continued a contract with an Arizona-based business that operates red light cameras at intersections. A committee on Thursday approved extending a contract with Super Shuttle, which provides transportation to and from LAX.

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Being the city cheerleader he is, Councilmember Tom LaBonge suggested a friendly amendment, extending the month-long recognition by four days. "September 4th, 1781 is when 44 people walked nine miles from the Mission San Gabriel to the banks of the Los Angeles River to form the Pueblo Los Angeles... [It] would be signifiacnt because los angeles was founded on diversity," he said of the diverse heritage of the 44 pobladores.

The resolution, along with LaBonge's amendment, was approved unanimously with 10 votes. The resolution only declares August of 2010 as Immigrant Pride Month, not all future months.