Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Arizona has spoken: Gov. Jan Brewer (seen above) signed the bill on Friday making it a state crime to be in Arizona illegally and requires police and other law-enforcement agents to check the documents of people they suspect to be illegal. However, critics say the law will lead to racial profiling.
But calls to boycott Arizona have already begun and gone viral. Arizona lawmakers and Gov. Jan Brewer apparently didn’t think about this when they approved this draconian legislation some have compared to Germany in WWII, when Jews were required to produce papers when stopped or risk arrest — or worse.
On Facebook, the largest social networking site with 400 million members, at least 10 pages are now dedicated to boycotting Arizona, attracting thousands of supporters. They are Boycott Arizona and Boycott Arizona 2010. The boycott effort is already having an impact. A convention for immigration attorneys scheduled for the Camelback Inn this fall has been canceled.
State tourism officials are worried. The Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association on Monday set up its own Facebook page, “Don’t Boycott AZ Tourism” with the tagline: “Don’t punish 200,000 tourism employees for politics.”
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a resolution calling for an end to any business the city has with Arizona or any Arizona-based businesses. La Opinion, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the country called for an economic boycott. Henrik Rehbinder, editor of the editorial pages for the Los Angeles-based publication, said the boycott is intended to send a signal to Gov. Brewer and other political leaders.
All of this comes decades after Arizona refused to adopt a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, costing the state the Super Bowl. The Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping the law doesn’t cost them next year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Time will tell.