Gordon withdraws request to sue Arizona over immigration law

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has tabled a request to file a lawsuit over Arizona's controversial new immigration law (SB1070).

Hundreds of people showed up to the City Council chambers on Tuesday to make comments about the immigration law and also hear the mayor propose a lawsuit against it. But instead, Gordon started the meeting by saying he had taken his proposed lawsuit off the agenda.

Gordon said he didn't feel he had enough votes to pass his proposed lawsuit. Out of the nine City Council members, three didn't show up.

Gordon calls the controversial new law “unconstitutional” and says, "the majority of Arizonans don't support a law that will trample civil rights."

In an interview with 3TV’s Tara Hitchcock, Gordon said, "the law is so vague that whenever our police officers...enforce the law as potentially intended...then we can be sued and will be sued in civil rights Federal Courts for violations, which holds officers personally liable and the city liable."

Gordon says he supports Federal legislation that will secure the border and create work permits that would allow some immigrants to come here legally for work purposes.  The two-term mayor has testified before Congress in support of immigration reform and says he is in favor of assigning additional resources to the border, including National Guard troops.  

In a fiery op-ed piece that appeared in The Washington Post over the weekend, Gordon called the law’s author, Arizona Senator Russell Pearce and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “hateful political opportunists” who “care less about capturing human smugglers and drug cartel gunmen than they do about capturing headlines.”

After the meeting, Gordon said he plans to file a lawsuit on his own on behalf of the city. He reportedly is meeting with his lawyer on Wednesday.