A Latino rights group and other immigrant and labor organizations have called for a national boycott of Arizona over the state's new immigration law, which allows police to ask anyone being investigated for a crime for proof of legal U.S. residency.
The call was led by the National Council of La Raza, which bills itself as the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Other groups joining the call include the Asian American Justice Center, the Center for Community Change, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, the Service Employees International Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the United Food and Commercial Workers union.
The groups pledged not to hold major conventions, conferences or other special events involving significant travel to Arizona from out of state and "asked others to consider whether their purchases of goods and services might perpetuate the unjust and discriminatory law in Arizona," La Raza said on its website.
"When a law so contrary to our values is passed, we must act decisively," said La Raza President and CEO Janet Murguia. "We are calling for a boycott because this law will blow open the door to increased racial profiling, wrongful arrests and other discrimination."
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the immigration measure April 23, says it does not involve racial profiling or any other illegal acts. The law, known as SB 1070, is scheduled to go into effect this summer.
The measure as originally signed into law said police could ask anyone at any time for proof of legal residency. The legislature passed new wording last week stipulating that police could ask for residency status only if that person was being investigated for another crime. Brewer signed the new language into law.