2 Boston councilors want city to boycott Arizona

By Russell Contreras
Associated Press Writer / May 3, 2010

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BOSTON—Boston should pull any investments from Arizona in protest over the state's recently passed controversial immigration law, two Boston city councilors said Monday.

City Council President Michael Ross and fellow Councilor Felix G. Arroyo said they are crafting a resolution asking city officials to identify city contracts and purchasing agreements with Arizona and Arizona-based companies, and end those agreements immediately. The resolution, scheduled to be filed Tuesday in time for a vote at Wednesday's city council meeting, also would ask city employees not to travel to Arizona for conferences or other city business.

The Arizona law requires local police to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.

"This is not something that we support here in Boston, and we shouldn't have to support the state of Arizona through our scarce investment resources," Ross said.

Arroyo said the Arizona law legalized racial profiling, and he doesn't want the city associated with the state while that law is on the books.

"Look at me personally. I'm Latino, and I look Latino," Arroyo said. "I was born in Boston. If I was in Arizona ... they'd be able to stop me and ask me to prove citizenship? What does that mean? Do I have to walk around and carry my birth certificate in my back pocket?"

Ross said once city officials determine what investments the city has with Arizona, the city council may consider an official ordinance banning such investments.

Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles also are considering measures to boycott Arizona after the state last month passed its immigration law. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently suspended all non-essential travel for city employees going to Arizona.

Last week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a follow-up bill approved by Arizona legislators that she says should ease concerns that the measure will lead to racial profiling. But critics say the law still requires police to ask immigration-status questions during stops.

Giovanna Negretti, executive director of Oiste?, a Massachusetts group that encourages Latinos to run for office, said city councilors in Springfield and Lawrence -- two cities with large Latino populations -- are preparing resolutions that mirror Boston's proposal.

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