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Boycotting Arizona is Boycotting Hispanics

immigration rallyThere is a lot of talk lately of boycotting Arizona.  The immigration bill recently promulgated into law by Governor Jan Brewer has created an uproar among Hispanics and liberal activists.  And as a result, people are considering financial boycotts of Arizona's businesses.  Interestingly, some of these same sanctuary cities that are considering a boycott of Arizona are the same cities unwilling to roll out the welcome mat to Arizona's illegals.  But that's another issue for another day perhaps.

Shortly after Arizona made headlines across the nation, Milwaukee decided to get in on the action.  Milwaukee Alderman Jim Witkowiak of Milwaukee's 12th distict planned to introduce a resolution to boycott Arizona businesses for creating "unnecessary confusion and fear".  A few days later, we find that they now want to delay the resolution until the bill was studied further, which of course raises the important question of why Mr. Witkowiak made such a stink in the first place.  If he hasn't read the bill, why is he introducing resolutions that would negatively impact Arizona during a recession?

Also getting in on the action is the liberal activist group called Voces de la Frontera.  Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, proudly announced her support for the economic boycott and gave a press release denouncing Arizona's bill calling it an "affront to the basic American democratic values."

One question not asked frequently enough is why people who claim to care about Hispanics in Arizona would financially penalize Arizona's Hispanic community through a boycott?  No need to state the obvious, but there are a lot of Hispanic businesses in Arizona.  In fact, between 2000 and 2003, Hispanic businesses grew 41% while Latina businesses grew 62%.  By 2005, Hispanic businesses represented nearly 10% of the business market in Arizona.  Boycotting Arizona may be a good way or retaliating against Arizona's lawmakers, but make no mistake about it, it will hurt Hispanics as well.

Perhaps people like Christina Neumann-Ortiz should stick to marches rather than boycotts.  This way, the local area will know that people are frustrated with the law, and in the same vein, Hispanics in Arizona will not have to bear the brunt of what their legislators do.  This is a very good reason why we as a Hispanic community should not get carried away by activist groups that practice a liberal agenda that has nothing to do with helping our community.


Comments (2)
  • Ftamel

    Aaron, you were very vocal ragarding the Arizona immigration law when I wrote about it in my column. I was just wondering ... have you read the 10 page Arizona law? Just curious.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    When I commented on your article, I read SB1070, which talked about lawful contact and reasonable suspicion. At the time, I believed it was a federal issue. Recently, I became informed on HB2162C, which modified the lawful contact aspect of SB1070 into the lawful stop, detention, and arrest of individuals, thus making it more difficult for law enforcement officials to profile Hispanics.

    After reading several law reviews, I am agnostic about whether the Arizona law is a federal issue. Several law experts argued that the Arizona bill mirrors federal law, and therefore it cannot breech the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Other law experts say that there are subtle changes in the Arizona bill that exempt aspects of federal immigration policy, which will deem it unconstitutional. I guess we can just wait an see.

    Regarding your article, my concern was with how you portrayed those boys in California that wore American flags during a Cinco De Mayo demonstration at a local high-school. If I spoke about the Arizona law, it was only to illustrate a larger point about the motives of certain GOP talking heads using the event to spearhead a larger issue.

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