West Hollywood considers joining boycott of Arizona

West Hollywood officials announced today they may join Los Angeles in an economic boycott of Arizona in response to the state's new anti-illegal immigration law.

On Monday, the West Hollywood City Council will consider banning official travel to Arizona until the law, SB 1071, is repealed.

"SB 1071 is reminiscent of a time when California voters were asked to decide on Proposition 187, leading to one of our darkest and most regretful times in our state's history,'' Mayor Pro Tempore John Duran said.

He was referring to a 1994 ballot initiative that sought to ban illegal immigrants from using social services, healthcare and public education in California. It was approved by voters but later found unconstitutional by a federal court.

"History tells us that criminalizing a group of people leads to unnecessary social tensions and potentially to hate incidents,'' Duran added. "This law will undoubtedly lead to racial profiling.''

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday backed a call by council members Janice Hahn and Ed Reyes to join an economic boycott of Arizona.

"The Arizona law is not only misguided, it is unpatriotic and unconstitutional,'' Villaraigosa said. "I add my voice in strongly opposing this unpatriotic and un-American law, and I call upon our federal leaders to pass comprehensive immigration reform in its place.''

He expressed support for the Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration proposal, which calls for providing a path to citizenship for the 12 million illegal immigrants believed to be in the country, while also strengthening border enforcement.

The annual May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles is expected to swell to around 100,000 people because of outrage over the new law, and the Los Angeles Police Department has beefed up security for Saturday's event.

Villaraigosa urged participants to wear white and wave American flags.

A survey found that nearly two-thirds of Arizona voters support the new law, which supporters say specifically outlaws racial profiling and only empowers local law enforcement to check people's immigration status if they are stopped for some other reason.

Arizona officials said they were forced to act because Congress and the White House have failed to address immigration issues since the 1980s.

However, President Barack Obama and numerous civil rights groups have condemned the law, and some lawsuits have already been filed to try and get it ruled unconstitutional.

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