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Why boycotts about Arizona immigration law are stalling

Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose have softened the boycotts they pledged in the wake of the Arizona immigration law's passage.

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When Arizona signed its new immigration law, SB 1070, on April 4, the immediate response by several cities and states was to enact economic boycotts against the state, with the aim of pressuring legislators to rethink the law.

Now, with just over a month to go until the law takes effect July 28, maintaining those embargoes appears to have been tough going for most – especially in the wider economic downturn – and several have watered down their actions.

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday granted itself an exemption to the city’s boycott of Arizona to keep a red light photo enforcement program operating. The program generates about $3.6 million in annual ticket revenue for the city. The day before, Oakland voted to approve a $1 million contract with a multinational advertising company with corporate offices in Phoenix.

San Jose, which has several contracts with Arizona companies cited potential economic harm in stopping short of a full boycott, voting instead for an official denunciation of SB 1070. The Arizona law allows police officers to question anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant, and makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.

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