By now, it is common knowledge that Republican Governor Jan Brewer recently signed a bill into law making illegal immigration, well, illegal in Arizona. Her goal was to enable local and state law enforcement agents to enforce statutes that the federal government is supposed to enforce but doesn’t.
In other words, Arizonans are doing the jobs federal officials won’t do.
Although national polls demonstrate an approximate 70% approval rating for the steps Arizona has taken to curtail illegal immigration, Al Sharpton sensed an opportunity for free television time and called for a boycott of Arizona. Since then, many others have lent their voices to the chorus of individuals and groups calling for Arizona to be punished.
And while Sharpton’s impact on Arizona’s economy will probably prove negligible at best, school districts and city councils within cities like Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Boston are hoping their varied resolutions against Arizona will have some affect.
For example, Denver Public Schools “banned all district-sponsored work-related travel to Arizona [because of] the state’s new identity-document law.” Boston’s City Council “approved a resolution [urging] the city to curtail economic ties with Arizona by pulling investments, ending city contracts and halting purchasing agreements to protest” the bill Brewer signed. And the Los Angeles “City Council voted 13-1 to bar Los Angeles from conducting business with Arizona unless the law is repealed.”
While the Los Angeles boycott could be significant, as that city has some $58 million in investments in the state of Arizona, some of the other boycotts around the country may hurt the boycotters worse than they will hurt Arizona. (The Highland Park, Illinois, girls’ basketball team is a case in point here.)
Yet it’s the principle behind these boycotts that’s so troublesome.