Upset by an ad placed in a Phoenix newspaper, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is calling on Arizonans to avoid traveling to Mexico.
The half-page full-color advertisement appearing in Friday’s The Arizona Republic features a man who appears to be in the military gazing through binoculars with words proclaiming, “We are looking for people from Arizona.”
In a news release issued Monday, Arpaio says the ad “went well beyond being irresponsible, it appears to threaten Arizonans.”
The advertisement was, in fact, intended to draw tourists from Arizona. It was paid for by Sonora Turismo, an agency in the Mexican state of Sonora.
Spokesman Adolfo Salido said the ad was to run for two days and that only half of it was published Friday. The rest ran in Saturday’s paper and included the caption “In Sonora, we are looking for people from Arizona who want to have a great time;” that ad pictured people on the beach, having fun.
Javier Tapia, the coordinator for tourism for Sonora, said Monday that the Mexican state is “very interested in people from Arizona coming to have a great time. We don’t want to scare anyone. We are very friendly.”
Arpaio’s call to refrain from travel comes amid calls for boycotts of Arizona from cities and groups, including some in Mexico, over the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigrants.