Two federal agencies are saying criticism from U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is unwarranted because they aren't boycotting Arizona.
The Congresswoman earlier this week chastised the Border Patrol and the Department of Education for cancelling conferences in Arizona as a result of the state’s new immigration enforcement law. She has sent letters to more than 40 organizations asking them to reconsider boycotting the state.
Border Patrol officials say they did not cancel any Arizona events, according to a statement issued by the agency’s public affairs office in Washington, D.C.
“CBP has not canceled any conferences in Arizona. We conducted a thorough review across our organization to ensure this is, in fact, the case. The agency has reached out to Rep. Giffords’ office to clear up any misunderstanding,” the statement says.
Giffords’ congressional office stands by its news release, said C.J. Karamargin, Giffords’ spokesman.
“Meetings were scheduled, meetings were cancelled and the reason was SB1070,” he said.
The Education Department says it moved a joint event scheduled with Mexican and Canadian attendees because the Mexicans asked for it to be moved, an Associated Press story says.
However, the Education Department said it is still planning to hold other upcoming conferences in Arizona, the Associated Press reported.
As Giffords did earlier this week, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne criticized the move on Thursday.
“Moving the conference because representatives from Mexico refuse to attend a conference in Arizona is very disturbing. An agency of the United States government should not defer to the misguided policies of a foreign nation. That is a shameful decision by the U.S. Department of Education,” Horne said in his statement.