An immigration reform activist says Arizona Governor Jan Brewer hit the nail on the head recently when she called the owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team to task for his opposition to the state's tough immigration enforcement bill.
Governor Jan Brewer has been attacked from various groups inside and outside her state for boldly standing up for SB 1070, which is scheduled to take effect on Thursday (July 29) but is facing court challenges from the Obama administration and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Among those who have criticized the bill is Robert Sarver, the owner of the NBA's Phoenix Suns. In a May 2010 interview with ESPN, Sarver said the law calls into question "our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law" and will cause Arizona's economy to suffer setbacks at a time when the state is already in economic distress.
But Governor Brewer recently crafted a response to the basketball mogul, asking him what would happen if (1) hordes of gate-crashers sneaked into Suns' games without paying and (2) the team could not ask for ticket stubs but would have to provide those people free food and drinks at the game and even be forced to provide free medical care if they were injured at the game.
Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform says the governor was right on the money.
"It's a perfect metaphor for what has been taking place in this country for a long, long time," he remarks. "If this was happening to a private enterprise like the Phoenix Suns, the ownership simply wouldn't tolerate it -- and for very good reason: it is money out of their own pockets."
"...There is no reason why we as a nation should be treated any differently than Mr. Sarver is in his money-making enterprise," Mehlman concludes.
The National Basketball Association is made up of 30 franchises. In December 2009 the Suns were ranked as the ninth most-valuable team with a value of $429 million. Sarver himself is among the wealthiest individuals who live in San Diego.