LA County joins boycott of Arizona

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Anti-boycott protesters shout at Los Angeles County supervisors before they went on to vote 3-2 for Los Angeles County to join a boycott of the state of Arizona, in Los Angeles on June 1, 2010.

Los Angeles County will join the city of L.A.'s economic boycott of Arizona over that state's new law that targets illegal immigrants. County supervisors voted 3-to-2 for the boycott.

Supervisor Molina, Yaroslavsky and Ridley-Thomas were in favor. Opposed were Supervisors Knabe and Mike Antonovich, who last week called the boycott idea "stupid."

The Arizona law requires local police to check whether people they stop are in the country legally. L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca says cops shouldn't be doing the federal government's work.

“I believe that the law enforcement piece to me is beyond what local law enforcement is capable of doing,” said Baca. “Law enforcement is paid for locally. There's not enough money in the police budgets to send police officers out, checking people for whether or not they're here legal or illegal. Our focus should be on the criminals who are committing crimes that are against people or property.”

Luis Alvarado is chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. He says L.A. County's decision to suspend business with Arizona will hurt more the people it's supposed to help.

“By my years of experience in the hotel industry, I can tell you that the majority of workers are of Latino descent," Alvarado said. “And if this boycott takes effect, it will affect the tourism industry in Arizona, which would directly affect the businesses that run hotels and that run restaurants and tourism. Basically, it would hurt the Latinos it intends to protect.”

A new poll by the non-partisan Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says 46 percent of those surveyed want their state to adopt an immigration law like the one in Arizona. Thirty-five percent did not. The survey of nearly 2,000 adults was conducted last month.

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