Hispanic Group Ends Arizona Boycott

The National Council of La Raza recently announced it will lift a boycott it imposed on Arizona to protest the state’s stringent immigration law, SB 1070.

After the passage of SB 1070 in May 2010, La Raza, which calls itself the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy group in the United States, joined with a number of other prominent activist groups and labor unions in vowing not to hold any conferences, conventions or special events in Arizona. La Raza called on its members and other supporters to sign an online pledge to take part in the boycott. The pledge acknowledged a boycott would likely hurt some Arizona residents by damaging the economy, but said short-term hardship was necessary to fight SB 1070, which would empower police officers to ask for documentation from any suspected illegal immigrant.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Real Arizona Coalition, an alliance of businesses, churches and Latino organizations, sent letters to La Raza last August asking for the boycott to be lifted, according to the Arizona Republic.

In complying with these requests, La Raza said the boycott has been effective in discouraging further immigration reform in Arizona, such as a measure challenging the citizenship status of children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.

Federal courts blocked SB 1070 from going into effect, but the state’s governor, Jan Brewer, recently petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the matter.