Perry, Brewer to skip U.S.-Mexico governor meeting
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico will host a meeting of U.S. and Mexican border governors, providing a new venue for a conference that was scrapped in Arizona because of a dispute about its new immigration enforcement law.
However, the governors of Texas and Arizona will not attend the rescheduled meeting.
The summit will be held in Santa Fe in late September, said Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson.
The governors of all six Mexican border states are expected to attend, he said Thursday.
“Obviously, all border governors are welcome and encouraged to attend, although the governors of Arizona and Texas have said they are not interested in joining a dialogue with their border colleagues,” Gallegos said.
Richardson’s announcement of the border governors’ meeting came as a federal judge in Phoenix considered a lawsuit against Arizona’s immigration law, which takes effect July 29 unless blocked by a court. The law requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person’s immigration status if officers have a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, called off the meeting in Phoenix after the Mexican governors planned to boycott it because of Arizona’s new immigration law.
The Mexican governors said in a June letter that Arizona’s law violated civil rights, and they suggested moving the conference to another state. Brewer canceled it instead.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, won’t attend the meeting in New Mexico.
“It was Arizona’s turn to host this, and he respected their decision to cancel it. He still intends to have a working relationship with all of the border governors,” Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said.