Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina introduced a motion this week that would authorize the county to boycott Arizona unless it suspends or repeals its controversial immigration law.
The motion, co-sponsored by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, would direct county officials to suspend all travel to Arizona and investigate withdrawing investments and canceling contracts.
Molina spokeswoman Roxane Marquez said the supervisor realizes that the immigration system is broken but believes that the Arizona law is the wrong way to address the problem.
“Our goal is to take a strong stand against what we feel is a very unconstitutional law,” Marquez said. “We feel it is wrong to single out any group for harassment, intimidation or arrest solely on the basis of ethnicity, race or cultural attributes.”
The proposal was quickly criticized by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who called the idea “stupid.”
“This knee-jerk reaction to support lawbreakers at the expense of law-abiding legal immigrants and other residents is irresponsible,” Antonovich said in a statement.
He said elected officials have taken an oath to enforce federal laws and that the board should focus its energy on holding federal officials accountable for the immigration problem.
The Arizona law requires police to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop and suspect is in the country illegally. It also makes it a state crime to lack proper immigration papers.
Top U.S. Justice Department officials have drafted a legal challenge asserting that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional because it impinges on the federal government’s authority to police the nation’s borders.