The simmering row over Arizona’s tough-as-nails immigration law has led to a shift in venue for the U.S.-Mexico border governors’ meeting, an annual event usually characterized by unity and good will.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, canceled the bash she was due to host after six border governors from Mexico pulled out in protest at the desert state’s crackdown on unauthorized immigrants she inked into law in late April.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a Democrat, stepped in this week to save the meeting which is now set to take place in Santa Fe in late September — although full attendance looks doubtful in the poisoned atmosphere that lingers.
“Governor Richardson is working with other governors to craft a tight, but productive agenda that focuses on the most pressing issues in the border region,” Gilbert Gallegos, Richardson’s deputy chief of staff, told Reuters on Friday.
“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,” he added.