Arizona immigration law supporters try to offset financial boycott

Doug and Cindy Youngblood brought "at least a couple thousand dollars" with them when they made the trip from Palm Bay, Fla. to Phoenix, Ariz. to financially support Arizona.

by Jeff Tyler:

Proponents of the new Arizona law rallied in Phoenix last weekend. David Hernandez drove in from Los Angeles. "I think it's important that the people of Arizona know that there are people in California that are supporting them. So it was worth the six-and-a-half hour drive up here," he said.

He came to lend his support, economically. "When we called and made our hotel reservations, they said, 'Do you mind if I ask why you're coming here?' And we said, 'Yes. To spend money in Arizona. Because we want to make sure that the businesses, especially the small businesses, are supported.'"

Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland are among the cities boycotting Arizona businesses. Los Angeles resident Becca Keating came to Phoenix to do just the opposite. "Instead of boycotting Arizona, we're BUY-cotting it."

Tony Katz is a conservative radio host based in Los Angeles. He's also a champion of the "Buy Arizona" movement. Katz took his show on the road to a cigar shop in Scottsdale. "And we return to the Tony Katz radio spectacular, right here on the All-Patriots Media Network," he said.

Katz implores his listeners to "Get yourself to Arizona" to off-set the boycotts and the canceled conventions that have already cost the state upwards of $100 million. "The employees are the ones who are going to suffer. They're the ones who are going to lose their jobs because of these boycotts."

But not if Katz can help it. "We're going to spend well over a thousand bucks and we're going to be happy to do it."

Fans of his radio show seemed happy, too. Some two dozen folks gathered at a fancy Scottsdale hotel. Doug and Cindy Youngblood made the trip from Palm Bay, Fla. Their budget was "at least a couple thousand dollars," they said.

Bruce Borup came down from Las Vegas. "Do you have a budget for how much you plan to spend during the weekend?" I asked. "Yeah, but it's already blown. I just had dinner out there," he replied.

The dinners and shopping and hotel bills all add up, but the economic tug-of-war continues. This week, San Jose, Calif. is debating whether to add its name to the list of cities boycotting Arizona.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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