San Francisco calls for boycott of Arizona over immigration law
Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A San Francisco lawmaker who came to the United States as an undocumented teenager plans to introduce legislation Tuesday calling for a citywide economic boycott of Arizona to protest the state’s strict new immigration law.
“We are not going to use our city resources to support that law,” said Supervisor David Campos, who is himself an immigrant from Guatemala and became a U.S. citizen in 1997.
Arizona’s new legislation, signed into law Friday, makes being in the country illegally a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Monday that his office already has started investigating if any contracts between San Francisco and Arizona could be severed without penalty. It is unclear how many businesses that could affect.
Herrera compared San Francisco’s opposition to the measure to its stance against apartheid in South Africa, the oppression of Catholics in Northern Ireland, and discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“San Francisco has always taken a leadership role in issues of moral importance,” Herrera said.
This tactic has been used against Arizona before with success, he said.
Arizona was one of the last states to adopt a holiday honoring Martin Luther King – a reluctance that led to a boycott in the 1980s that cost the city hundreds of conventions and Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The pressure, and the financial pinch, led the state to put the holiday on the ballot. Voters approved the measure, making Martin Luther King Day a holiday.
Steps like the one proposed by San Francisco would remind the state’s lawmakers their decision could have economic and political consequences, Herrera said.
Campos said he also plans to sponsor a resolution calling on the federal government to stop auditing San Francisco businesses for illegal immigrant workers.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, who has opposed the Arizona law, asked San Francisco supervisors to wait before taking such drastic steps.
“Calling for a boycott now would hurt immigrants and residents who depend on the revenue for their own employment,” said Gordon. “We are fighting it in court and are confident it will never be implemented.”
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat, has called for a boycott of convention business for the state and other calls have come for a boycott of Arizona goods, services and tourism because of the immigration law.
The measure – set to take effect in late July or early August – would make it a crime under state law to be in the U.S. illegally. It directs state and local police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are undocumented.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law last week, on Monday dismissed the economic boycott threats.
Appearing at an Arizona Town Hall in Tucson, Brewer said she doesn’t believe the law is “going to have the kind of economic impact that some people think it might.”
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