In response to passage of anti-immigration legislation that could target Latinos, among other immigrant groups, for profiling as illegal immigrants, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) announced a national boycott of the state of Arizona and initiated an online petition, to show solidarity with the NCLR and the boycott.
The legislation, SB 1070, was signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on April 24, 2010. Several elements of the bill raised a red flag among immigrant advocates and Latinos, in general, who fear that they will be targeted by police officers.
“Requires a reasonable attempt to be made to determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact made by an official or agency of the state or a county, city, town or political subdivision (political subdivision) if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.
“Allows a law enforcement officer, without a warrant, to arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the U.S.”
In response, Clarissa Martínez De Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns for the NCLR, this week called for a boycott of the state of Arizona by tourists.
Joined by the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), the National Action Network (NAN), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and many others, the NCLR also asks that Major League Baseball remove its 2011 All-Star Game from Phoenix, Arizona.
“A significant portion of the players in the game would be at risk of being profiled once they are off the field and out of uniform,” asserted De Castro. “Moving the game seems more than reasonable, wouldn't you say?”
The NCLR also posted a petition online. According to the petition: “By signing the pledge, we commit to carefully considering whether the dollars we spend as consumers of goods and services could end up supporting, directly or indirectly, the perpetuation of this unjust law. If you represent an organization, we ask that you refrain from holding any conventions, conferences, special events, or major meetings involving significant travel to Arizona from out of state, while this law is in force.”
The boycott will last until the law is repealed, overturned by the courts, or superseded by comprehensive federal immigration reform.
“Americans are rightfully and legitimately concerned with the broken state of our immigration system. But for Arizona to enact an unconstitutional law that invites racial profiling and ethnic discrimination against entire communities is not the right way to move forward,” stated De Castro. “Instead, Congress must take the lead and fulfill its responsibility to fix the broken immigration system before other states follow Arizona's misguided example.”
Adding insult to injury, the Arizona legislature this week also approved legislation that bans ethnic studies in schools.