Sunday, June 16, 2024

Latino groups in Utah to Boycott Businesses over Immigration Package


Republican governor Gary Herbert has yet to sign an immigration package that passed the Utah legislature recently but Latino groups are already planning a 15-day boycott of businesses around the state over the deal.

“We are not going to buy anything for 15 days,” Jose Gutierrez, president of the Utah Hispanic Latino Coalition, said Thursday.  “This is a demonstration that we are important to this country and to the economy of this state.”

Last week, in an attempt to differentiate itself from Arizona, the state legislature approved an immigration package that includes both drawbacks and beneficial measures for the immigrant population in the state.

Similar to Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, police would be forced to question the immigration status of any person they arrest for a serious crime.  On the other hand, another part of the law calls for a guest worker program that would grant laborers two-year permits from the Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon.

The sponsor of the guest worker program, state Sen. Luz Robles (D-Salt Lake), says Utah wants to demonstrate that it is “not scared of facing very complicated issues.” 

With its mixed package of measures, the state hopes to send the message that “it’s not Arizona,” but activists say undocumented immigrants would still be unfairly criminalized under the law and that it could lead to racial profiling of Latinos.

“We feel we need to do something to attract attention to the fact that we’re unhappy and an integral part of this state,” Archie Archuleta, Utah Coalition of La Raza chairman, said.  Archuleta has condemned the immigration package.

The activists are also urging Latinos to pull all of their money from banks during the 15-day boycott.

Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune

Fox News Latino