Washington (CNN) – Two big-city mayors have come together to issue a message: Arizona's immigration law is wrong and should be repealed. But the mayors disagree on the issue of boycotting Arizona in response to the law.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa, both Democrats, spoke with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Thursday evening.
Both men oppose Arizona's immigration law that requires law enforcement agents to "determine the immigration status" of anyone under "reasonable suspicion" of being an illegal alien. Essentially, the law provides police with the power and responsibility that is normally accorded only to federal immigration authorities.
"This law is wrong," Gordon said in the interview that aired on CNN's John King USA. "It doesn't do anything for security. It doesn't do anything but really lead to racial profiling and it should be overturned and the [federal] government should do its job."
Villaraigosa calls the law unpatriotic and agreed that the federal government should do more to enforce the nation's immigration laws. The two mayors also urged the federal government to come up with a new immigration policy.
But Gordon and Villaraigosa differed on some cities' reaction to the law.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council asked all municipal employees to boycott Arizona. This includes suspending all travel to Arizona by municipal employees, as well as $7.7 million worth of city contracts with Arizona-based companies. This could mean a loss of up to $56 million worth of business that Los Angeles conducts with Arizona each year, according to Gerry Miller, chief legislative analyst of Los Angeles.
While Villaraigosa acknowledged that innocent Phoenix residents and businesses will be hit with "consequences," the mayor also said that "boycotts have been used in the past."
Gordon, while reiterating his opposition to the law, begged against reactions that will economically hurt Phoenix.
"We estimate it's already cost us almost $150 million at a time when we're just starting to recover on the economic front," Gordon said. "And this is about all businesses, not only immigrant businesses, but, you know, major corporations."
The mayor added, " … I plea to everybody not to boycott and paint us all in the same boat."
Though Gordon obviously does not agree with Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's signing of the law, the two agree on the point of boycotts. Brewer called the Los Angeles protest "thoughtless and harmful."
"An economic boycott against innocent people just adds to the massive economic burden Arizonans have sustained for years due to the federal government's failure to secure our borders," she said.
Boston, Massachusetts; New York City;, St. Paul, Minnesota; and the California cities of Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco also oppose Arizona's immigration law.