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LA County boycotts Arizona over immigration law

Los Angeles County on Tuesday became the latest government body to boycott Arizona to protest the state’s tough new law targeting illegal immigration.

After a heated debate, the county’s board of supervisors voted 3-2 to ban new contracts with Arizona-based companies and review those that could be canceled. The county has more than $26 million in contracts with Arizona companies this year.

Several California cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, have passed similar measures.

The Arizona law, set to go into effect July 29, requires police enforcing another law to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally.

Supervisor Gloria Molina said the law “goes too far.”

“I am sworn as an L.A. County supervisor to uphold the Constitution. All I can say is that I believe that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional,” she said.

U.S. Justice Department officials have drafted a legal challenge asserting that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional because it intrudes on the federal government’s authority to guard the nation’s borders. President Barack Obama, a critic of the law, is planning to meet Thursday with Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer, a White House official said Tuesday.

Critics of the law also say it unfairly targets Hispanics and could lead to racial profiling. Proponents insist racial profiling will not be tolerated.

Dozens of people spoke on both sides of the issue Tuesday, trying to sway Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was the last to announce his position and finally voted yes.

“We need solutions, not boycotts,” said Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who voted against the motion along with Supervisor Don Knabe.

The boycott also calls the county’s pension fund to rid itself of any investments in Arizona’s state and municipal bonds. The county does have investments that would be affected by the boycott, said the county’s treasurer, Mark Saladino.

The Los Angeles Unified School District also voted Tuesday to condemn the law and explore ways of curtailing district-sponsored employee travel, economic support of Arizona and companies based there.

The resolution also calls for civics and history classes to include a discussion of the Arizona law “in the context of unity, diversity and equal protection for all.”

A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that about three-fourths of voters in the U.S. think boycotting Arizona because of its immigration law is a bad idea. The national survey of 1,914 registered voters also found that most support the law itself, with 51 percent of voters approving of the measure and 31 percent disapproving.

The poll, conducted May 19-24, had a sampling error margin of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

4 comments

  1. Lets not be surprised that these cities & counties with overwhelming Mexican populations would do something this stupid. Just goes to show you Mexicans do not have any respect for law and probably less comprehension on what SB 1070 really means. First you have to be able to read English.

  2. CALIFORNIA’S ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BILL!
    834b. (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. (b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following: (1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status. (2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States. (3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity. (c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.

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