PHOENIX, July 10 (UPI) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says he is trying to rescue a long-scheduled meeting between the governors of U.S. and Mexican border states.
The six Mexican governors scheduled to attend the September Border Governors Conference in Phoenix have canceled their plans in protest of SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration-enforcement law.
"I feel very strongly, and so do the Mexican governors, that we need to have the conference because this is a conference that has been going for 30 years," Richardson told The Washington Post. "It's a conference that diffuses a lot of problems."
The Post reported the Mexican officials said they would meet somewhere other than Phoenix; however, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, chair of the conference, responded by canceling the event altogether.
In her June 30 letter to the Mexican governors, Brewer said SB 1070 was a legitimate and misunderstood move to exert control over illegal immigration and urged the governors to meet with her administration to sort out fact from fiction.
Richardson said SB 1070 had created a "serious breach" in relations along the border and is trying to organize a meeting in Washington or in another Western state.