US cities suspend trade with Arizona in protest against state’s immigration bill

16 May 2010

Several American cities have taken the unusual step of suspending trade with Arizona, in protest against the state’s controversial new immigration bill.

Councillors in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin voted to cancel official trips and stop doing business with companies based in Arizona.

After hours of grandstanding in the Los Angeles council chambers, in which members compared the statute to Nazism and the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War, the resolution was approved almost unanimously.

“As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport,” said councillor Ed Reyes. “If I come across an officer who’s having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be… deported, no questions asked.”

The law proposed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer will make it a crime to lack immigration papers and will require police to stop anyone they believe to be in the country illegally. Critics argue this will lead to racial profiling, ostracise legal immigrants and foster resentment between police and the Latino community, but only the federal government has the power to deport people.

“There are a lot of mistruths about the bill,” Brewer said. “You’re not going to walk down the street and get questioned unless you’ve committed a crime.” However, this was contradicted by Arizona’s Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who announced that he will not enforce the law. “If I tell my people to go out and look for A, B and C, they’re going to do it,” he said.

full article

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