Herrera, Campos Call on MLB to Move 2011 All-Star Game Over AZ Immigration Law,
MLBPA Responds

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on April 30, 2010 with 2 Comments

City Attorney Dennis Herrera (right) and Supervisor David Campos discuss the passage of Arizona's controversial immigration bill, SB 1070, during the April 27 meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Photo by Luke Thomas

By Luke Thomas

April 30, 2010

In further protest action against the recent passage of Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor David Campos today sent a joint letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig requesting Selig to seek an alternative host city for the 2011 All-Star Game, currently set to be played in Phoenix, unless the controversial law is repealed.

“We write to call upon Major League Baseball to seek a new host city for the 82nd All-Star Game, outside the State of Arizona, unless that state’s law is repealed,” the letter states. “Arizona’s draconian new anti-immigration law, which unless repealed or invalidated by a court will be in full effect in July 2011, poses an unambiguous and direct threat to the liberty of millions of Americans who are Latino or who may appear to be of foreign origin-including Major League Baseball players and their fans.”

The 3-page letter acknowledges that “the City we serve as elected officials has been no stranger to political controversy for its progressive policies and legal initiatives, including some by our respective offices…But Arizona’s new law goes far beyond merely pushing the envelope of a politically contentious issue. It is a direct and tangible threat to the fundamental rights of many Major League Baseball players and fans, and an affront to millions of Americans who are — or who may appear to be — of foreign heritage.”

Repeated requests for official comment from MLB have been unsuccessful.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Update, 1:48 pm

MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner released the following statement:

Statement of MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner Regarding Arizona Immigration Law

New York, NY, Friday, April 30, 2010 … The following statement was issued today by Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner regarding the immigration law recently passed by the state of Arizona.

“The recent passage by Arizona of a new immigration law could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States. These international players are very much a part of our national pastime and are important members of our Association. Their contributions to our sport have been invaluable, and their exploits have been witnessed, enjoyed and applauded by millions of Americans. All of them, as well as the Clubs for whom they play, have gone to great lengths to ensure full compliance with federal immigration law.

“The impact of the bill signed into law in Arizona last Friday is not limited to the players on one team. The international players on the Diamondbacks work and, with their families, reside in Arizona from April through September or October. In addition, during the season, hundreds of international players on opposing Major League teams travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks. And, the spring training homes of half of the 30 Major League teams are now in Arizona. All of these players, as well as their families, could be adversely affected, even though their presence in the United States is legal. Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status. This law also may affect players who are U.S. citizens but are suspected by law enforcement of being of foreign descent.

“The Major League Baseball Players Association opposes this law as written. We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly. If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members.

“My statement reflects the institutional position of the Union. It was arrived at after consultation with our members and after consideration of their various views on this controversial subject.”

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:


Comments for Herrera, Campos Call on MLB to Move 2011 All-Star Game Over AZ Immigration Law,
MLBPA Responds
are now closed.

  1. Addendum to my comment: On April 30, 2010, the Arizona Legislature passed an amendment to the law designed to ease fears of racial profiling. Now police can seek a person’s immigration status only while investigating another crime. Is going through a stop sign, driving with a broken tail light, jaywalking, or being a public nuisance a crime allowing a police officer to requiring proof the person is legally in Arizona? Let the lawsuits begin.

  2. The Arizona immigration law directs law enforcement officials, “when practicable,” to check the immigration status of someone they have “reasonable suspicion” is in the country illegally. They cannot “solely consider” that person’s race or ethnicity. Presumably they can consider race or ethnicity in combination with other factors. But they cannot engage in racial profiling. Yet given the meaninglessness of so many of the potential criteria that law enforcement might consider, e.g., eating a burrito, wearing coveralls, speaking Spanish, the one that may end up counting most is race. As the argument goes, in practice, it is inevitable that this law will lead to racial profiling. People don’t wear signs saying that they are illegal immigrants, nor do illegal immigrants engage in any particular behavior that distinguishes them from legal immigrants and citizens. So police officers will not stop white people; they will stop those of Hispanic or Latino origin. And those of Hispanic or Latino origin make up about 30% of Arizona’s population.

    Stopping people who are “walking or driving while Brown” or racial profiling runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the right to be safe from unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. Since the majority of people of all races are law-abiding citizens, merely being of a race or ethnicity, which a police officer believes to be more likely to commit a crime than another, is not probable cause. In addition, the Fourteenth Amendment requires that all citizens be treated equally under the law. It follows then that it is unconstitutional for a representative of the government to make decisions based on race or ethnicity.