How quickly a news story is kindled, springs into flame—and then dies.

ABA President Carolyn Lamm

That was the case today on the question of whether the American Bar Association would move a key conference out of Phoenix, Arizona, this coming week.

The cause of the hubbub was Arizona’s recently enacted SB1070, which ratcheted up the immigration debate. Supporters and detractors have lined up to hurl kisses and brickbats.

The ABA opted for brickbats. Last Friday, April 30, ABA President Carolyn Lamm issued a statement opposing the recently passed Arizona immigration law. It staked out a pretty strong position. You can read the whole thing here.

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs

But maybe they began to regret their full-throated denunciation. After all, the ABA does a lot of business here in one of the sunniest, most resort-rich states of the country. And by the weekend after the ABA’s press release, an anomaly was noted.

The national association of lawyers was slated to host its annual Equal Justice Conference in Phoenix. It’s scheduled for May 13-15.

As the media noted, pressure was mounting for the ABA to move the conference to a more immigration-friendly venue.

Of course, the ABA has a lawyer or two itself, and they know from hotel and conference contracts and registrations. Canceling now? Ugly, ugly, ugly.

Sonia Nazario

Well, it took all of four days for the ABA to clarify its message.

This afternoon, it said “Nothin’ to see here, folks,” and declared that they were still heading west next week.

Who can blame them? Sun, pools and prepaid registrations are hard to pass up.

But one aspect of the conference may prove to be more ironic than a burrito in the Arizona Legislature.

The keynote address will be delivered by Sonia Nazario, a former writer at The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times and a board member of a child advocacy organization. But she’s also the author of the book Enrique’s Journey, the story of a Honduran boy’s search to find his mother in the United States.

Hope he has his papers.

We’ll be attending Nazario’s keynote address at the opening plenary on Thursday, May 13. We’ll let you know what she says.

For more on the conference—documented or not—click here.