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Coalition calls for boycott of Arizona

May 7, 2010 at 7:59 AM   |   Comments

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PHOENIX, May 7 (UPI) -- A coalition of civil rights and labor groups says it organized a nationwide boycott of Arizona to protest the state's new immigration law.

The National Council of La Raza and 19 other groups said they will withdraw money and meetings from the state and asked companies and organizations to move any events scheduled in Arizona to other venues, The Washington Post reported Friday.

"No conferences. No travel," Janet Murguia, president and chief executive officer of the NCLR, the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights group, said Thursday at a news conference. "We are looking at major events with big visibility, and we're asking all people to consider whether any purchase of goods from the state would further this unjust law."

Among other things, the Arizona law makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and requires law enforcement officers to check the legal status of people they suspect are undocumented.

NCLR supporters agreed to yank the Puerto Rican Day festival's regional meeting from Phoenix and the National Urban League deleted the city from a list of venues for its 2012 conference, the Post said. The state's hotel and lodging association indicated 23 meetings scheduled in Arizona have been canceled so far.

Murguia also called on Major League Baseball to break its promise to hold the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix. About 30 percent of the league's players are Latino. League officials did not comment.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer criticized boycott backers in an editorial on ESPN.com.

"Boycotts are just more politics and manipulation by out-of-state interests," Brewer said. "As a border state, Arizona has already paid a heavy price for the federal government's failure -- hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in unreimbursed costs -- and its citizens should not be punished further."

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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