SF Boycotts Arizona Over Immigration Law

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 07:47 AM

 

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San Francisco lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a boycott of Arizona after the state passed a strict immigration law critics say would promote racial profiling.

The resolution, which cleared the San Francisco Board of Supervisors by a 10-1 vote, calls for the northern California city to refrain from entering into new contracts with companies based in Arizona.

It also demands that San Francisco avoid sending city officials and employees to conferences in Arizona and explore discontinuing existing contracts with companies based in the southwestern border state.

"This is really about sending a very clear message that when a state passes a law that is as egregious as this law is, that people of good conscience in other parts of the country have an obligation, a responsibility to speak up and not remain silent," said Supervisor David Campos, who sponsored the measure.

Last month, Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law that requires police in the state to check an individual's immigration status if they have "reasonable suspicion" the person might be in the country illegally.

The legislation has fueled vocal criticism from civil rights groups, Latino organizations and even US President Barack Obama, who called it "misguided."

Although the law was tweaked in response to charges of racial profiling, rights activists say the changes did little to ease their concerns.

The San Francisco ordinance is nonbinding, and urges rather than mandates the boycott measures. As such, it remains unclear how the legislation might impact ties between San Francisco and Arizona.

Calling the move "a very measured response" to the Arizona law, Campos said a number of other US cities are considering similar legislation, including Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago, El Paso and the capital Washington.

San Francisco has long considered itself a haven for illegal immigrants to the United States, although aspects of that policy have come under fire in recent years.

© AFP 2014

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