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Mexico boycott may hurt immigrants, US firms say

MEXICO CITY -- US lobbyists lashed out yesterday at the Mexican ''Nothing Gringo" campaign timed for May 1 to coincide with the ''Day Without Immigrants" boycott in the United States.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico said organizers are risking a backlash and foolishly targeting some of their best allies, since US corporations have lobbied the US Congress to ease immigration rules, including legalization for many of the estimated 11 million undocumented migrants.

Migrants and their supporters in the United States are being encouraged to skip work and school and not spend money for one day to demonstrate the migrants' importance to the US economy.

Backers of the boycott insisted yesterday that the protest could send a message that US companies should offer better pay and benefits to their Mexican workers.

Companies also often hire workers for three-month periods to avoid paying health insurance or other benefits, activists say.

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