Tuesday, March 5, 2024

NCLR Organizes Boycott of Arizona to Protest Controversial Immigration Law

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), on Thursday, joined 19 other labor and civil rights organizations in calling for a boycott of Arizona in response to the state’s passing of S.B. 1070 immigration law.

Janet Murguía, president and CEO of NCLR, said, “No conferences. No travel. We are looking at major events with big visibility, and we’re asking all people to consider whether any purchase of goods from the state would further this unjust law.”

Among those which the boycott organizers hope to influence is Major League Baseball by encouraging them to not hold the 2011 All- Star Game in Phoenix.  As previously reported in La Plaza, (LINK IT) the MLB Players Association was one of the first groups to speak out against the passage of the new anti-immigrant law.

Arizona’s state’s hotel and lodging association said in the past week, 19 meetings have been canceled.  Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation’s oldest black fraternity, moved their 10,000 person conference to Nevada in protest last week. Economic losses to the state are estimated at more than $6 million.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) were amongst those which called on everyone from individuals to corporations to express their outrage over a law that many say sanctions racial profiling.

Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of the SEIU said, “We take no pleasure in calling for a boycott, but we feel there is no alternative. Any adverse impacts in the short term are outweighed by the long-term benefits of stamping out discrimination.”

Since signing the bill into law, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, has faced a firestorm from around the country and within her own state.  Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, who, along with the city of Flagstaff, has sued the state in an attempt to stop the immigration law, hopes that his actions would exempt his city from the boycott.

Despite the criticism, Brewer condones the law as being “necessary”.  She said, “This is all about illegal immigration, and we need to get our borders secured. Even if it means loss of business.”

She did acknowledge the impact of a boycott on the state by accusing organizers of “punishing families and businesses, large and small”.

Murguia made it clear that prior to making any decision, NCLR conducted a survey of 400 Latinos in Arizona and found that a slight majority, 55 percent, support a boycott.

Yesterday, at a White House Cinco de Mayo reception, President Obama referenced the Arizona law in remarks where he announced his intentions to begin work on a comprehensive immigration reform package this year. (LINK IT).

Washington Post