Vote Passed; LA County Boycotts Arizona

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In a 3-to-2 vote on Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors joined the city in a boycott of Arizona over the state's law targeting illegal immigrants.

    New contracts with Arizona-based companies have been banned. The county will review contracts that could be canceled. Los Angeles County has more than $26 million in contracts with Arizona companies this year, the Associated Press reported.

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    The motion was introduced by Supervisor Gloria Molina and co-sponsored by Zev Yaroslavsky. It contends that the Arizona law "violates core American civil rights and civil liberties, including the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expressive activity, the Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures and the Equal Protection Clause guarantee of equal protection under the law."

    The law -- Senate Bill 1070, which has not yet gone into effect -- empowers local law enforcement in Arizona to check the immigration status of suspects they have stopped for other reasons if there is a reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally. It specifically bars police from racial profiling.

    Supervisor Mike Antonovich, a vocal opponent of illegal immigration, called the motion "stupid."

    "As elected officials, we take an oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions," Antonovich said. "To boycott a state for enforcing our federal laws is in direct violation of that oath."

    The motion directs the county's chief executive officer to send a letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and other state leaders calling for the repeal of the law; suspend all travel to the state for county business unless the travel is considered imperative; banning county investments in Arizona securities such as state or municipal bonds; and review all contracts with Arizona-based or headquartered companies and report on how those contracts can be terminated.

    It would also prevent county departments from entering into any new or amended contracts to purchase goods or services from any company based or headquartered in Arizona.

    The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 on May 12, with Councilman Greig Smith dissenting, to approve an economic boycott of Arizona in hopes of pressuring the state into repealing Senate Bill 1070.

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