On Thursday, the Los Angeles City council passed a motion to officially boycott the State of Arizona. Arizona’s new racist law SB1070 targets Mexican, Chicano, and Native American people for harassment. From California, right across the country, many people are outraged. Under the new Arizona law, local police will have the power to harass and arrest people based on immigration status. This will increase the already existing racist harassment and arrest of Mexican, Chicano, and Native American people. Many police, including the police chief of Tucson, AZ, publicly oppose the law because of the burden it places on them and because it promotes racial profiling.
The Los Angeles City Hall council chamber was filled with workers from SEIU 1877 representing janitors, and with workers organized by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and immigrants’ rights activists of the Coalition for Humane Immigrants’ Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). The motion introduced by Councilman Reyes, a Chicano from the Northeast Los Angeles area, was voted “Yes” by 12 council members, except for the one Republican. The main message was that we need immigration reform now at the Federal level to prevent more racist laws of the type in Arizona. The struggle for full equality and legalization continues to sharpen in the Southwest and throughout the country.