Arizona faces immigrant law backlash

Immigrants, activists and supporters of illegal immigrants rally against a new Arizona law outside of Federal Plaza in New York City.


Tess Vigeland: Arizona's tough new legislation targeting undocumented immigrants is making the state itself a target. The law was passed and signed by the governor less than a week ago, but already the state is facing lawsuits over its constitutionality. Today U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government may challenge it. Mexico's president is warning of a strain in trade and political ties, and even die-hard spring training fans are taking to Facebook to say they'll boycott next year's Cactus League games.

Marketplace's Jeff Tyler has more on the backlash.

JEFF TYLER: Los Angeles is one city considering cutting its economic ties with Arizona. In San Francisco today, elected officials introduced a resolution at a board of supervisors meeting.

City attorney Dennis Herrera.

DENNIS Herrera: The resolution will consider urging city departments to not enter into contracts to purchase goods and services from Arizona-based companies.

But Arizona's governor Jan Brewer says she doesn't believe the controversial law will hurt the state's economy. She says business leaders worry more about crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

JAN Brewer: When I go about meeting with businesses that come into Arizona that are trying to locate here, or businesses that are here, they want to know that we have a safe and secure environment.

But the environment for tourism has been soured by the legislation.

WILL Conroy: It is affecting us as a business, significantly.

Will Conroy is president of the Arizona Inn -- a small boutique hotel in Tucson. In recent days, he's received calls and e-mails from loyal customers who have changed their travel plans.

Conroy: It's just upsetting to read these e-mails. People that love the inn, but that are putting their feelings about Arizona first. And they won't be coming back, they say.

Arizona was the target of another boycott in the '80s, when the state initially refused to adopt a Martin Luther King holiday. Hundreds of conventions were canceled, and the state lost the chance to host the Super Bowl.

So far this time, only one group has pulled out -- appropriately, the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

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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There was a similar story played on June 21 AM, but I can not find it. That story, along with the fact that I can not find it, signifies my end to listening to my favorite financial news program. Marketplace has ceased to be a financial news program and has become a news program.

Having family and friends living in S.E. Arizona, I've been listening for almost a decade to the stories of crime, environmental damage (forest fires, polluted wells, scattered herds, poaching, etc), caused by illegal aliens, contraband traffic, and cross-border violent crime (kidnapping, carjacking, armed home invasion, etc). This story focuses on the potential for impingement of the civil rights of Hispanic Americans (of which I'm one) and lawful immigrants, which of course is relevant--but secondary. No one mentions the residents of the border areas whose safety has been forfeited by the Federal government's inability to secure the border. When did the 14th Amendment get repealed? When did living in a border area mean that you gave up Equal Protection under the Constitution? And when did the rights of those here illegally start to trump the rights of those here lawfully? I get that the liberal tag-line is siding with the oppressed... but the oppressed in this case are those living in the border area lawfully. Time to drop the assumption that anglo-Americans are always the bad guy, and that the minorities are the righteous ones. Indeed, I remember a time when such kneejerk stereotyping would have been called "racist".

this is so ridiculous. why do you give this story any value? it is really the same as headlining, "burglars concerned about anti-theft laws." are we living in a The Onion parallel universe? of course those who are restricted by the law object to it. but we shouldn't care.

If I could afford to stay at the Arizona Inn, I would. I hope some who support this "enough is enough" law that shows concern for the future of our country will manage to take vacations in Arizona this year, and let those in the state know that that's why.

This new law allows racial profiling to occur and this is not the American way. America is about being a home for all different types of people, and now they are infringing on personal freedom.

This bill was passed with no consideration given to the consequences. They did not care if US citizens get asked to prove they are't illegals if they look Mexican.
Boycotts will now occur because the American people will stick up for the minorities, the Latino people. It is all about fairness.

I think it would wonderful for all Latinos to leave the state of Arizona, legal citizens or otherwise, and have all the closet-bigots from every other state fill the void. That way, we who "like criminals" can at least rely on those bigots being contained in Arizona.

This will all blow-up and come crashing down when a Professional Athlete is arrested on suspicion of being an undocumented foreigner.

Arizona passes a law that helps enforce federal laws regarding immigration and everyone else has a cow. Would California decline to do business with states that have drug laws just because California repeals or declines to enforce its drug laws?

Apparently California and Latinos everywhere like criminals.

If I were planing a vacation I’d go to Arizona just to show some support. Not to mention the attractions there, e.g. the Grand Canyon.

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