To boycott or not boycott Arizona?

To boycott or not boycott Arizona?
NCLR President and CEO Janet Murgia

One of the nation's leading Latino civil rights organization, the National Council of La Raza, announced that it was ending its boycott of Arizona.

The group had initiated a boycott last year after the state passed S.B. 1070, the immigration law that has largely been held up in the courts.

That it hasn't advanced is one reason the group gave to end the boycott.

NCLR's President and CEO Janet Murgia also outlined several ways in which the boycott had worked in a letter, according to the Phoenix New Times.

-  The state has lost or will lose more than $750 million in jobs, economic activity, and tax revenue, according to an independent study by the Center for American Progress.

- More than 400 nationally prominent artists pledged not to perform in Arizona.

-One major manufacturer decided to skip Arizona resulting in over $1 billion in lost economic investment, according to Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform.

So has NCLR has decided the state has been punished enough?

They also say their boycott supported by The Leadership Conference of Civil and Human Rights and the Asian American Justice Center has deterred other states from passing similar legislation.

NCLR states in its letter that "only five-Alabama, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Utah-have passed laws like SB 1070, and all of them are currently facing legal challenges and have been enjoined by the courts."

While this is true it is not a complete picture. It's not just five states. There are  governors like Susana Martinez of New Mexico, who is Latina and had undocumented grandparents, working to repeal a law to give undocumented workers driver's licenses.

And politicians around the country are demonizing immigrants, such as Kansas state Rep. Virgil Peck who said they should be shot. He later apologized.

Other states like Florida have tried and failed to pass legislation like Arizona's. They have succeeded in Oklahoma.

In Maryland, some are working to repeal the state DREAM Act to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition for college if they meet certain requirements.

The immigration issue is not contained to just one state or a handful of states. Instead groups civil rights groups like NCLR should do more to focus on the states that are moving in the direction of Arizona. Clearly the boycott has worked.

Now is not the time to let Arizona off the hook.

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  • Lemme put it this way.

    I buy American cars, such as Hondas assembled in Ohio.

    I ain't buying no Ford Fusion or Fiat 500 hecho en Mexico.

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