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Monday, May 17, 2010


Not surprisingly city councils across the country are passing, or considering the passage, of official boycotts or resolutions of condemnation of Arizona for the passing and signing into law of the now famous SB 1070. For those of you asleep for the past several weeks, SB 1070 prohibits all levels of law enforcement in Arizona from ignoring federal immigration laws, cracks down heavily on employers who hire illegal immigrants and essentially requires federal laws to be enforced in the state.

Most of those who had immediate visceral reactions to SB 1070 had not, and still have not, read the Arizona law, most famously our esteemed Attorney General Eric Holder admitted before a Congressional committee that he had not read it. (Please note that I did read SB 1070 as then amended prior to writing my post on May 3rd.) The AG going as far as to admitting he has formed his opinions on SB 1070 from "television and newspapers." Joined by his boss who immediately condemned an entire state under his leadership as President, presumably without reading the law, Holder exemplifies the speak first learn later (if at all) politics of emotion that consumes the left.

Now city councils consisting almost entirely of Democrats and leftist politicians who have overseen the decline and incredible financial failures of their cities are spending time and resources denouncing enforcement of federal immigration laws rather than tending to the business of fixing the messes they have wrought in their cities. But rather than see any connection between their inability to separate law from their ideological positions they see greater personal benefit from passing condemning legislation rather than fiscally responsible legislation.

To date in California Los Angeles, West Hollywood, San Francisco and the San Diego Unified School District have passed boycotts of the state, while the city of San Diego has passed a resolution of condemnation. Given the liberal leadership in many cities that still have not chimed in, including my own City of Long Beach, it will not be surprising if more California cities follow suit. As with the Attorney General one wonders how many, if any, of those voting for the boycotts have even bothered to read the law. Los Angeles is deeply in debt and looking at laying off up to 2,000 workers, but feels it necessary to not have any official travel to Arizona or buy from companies headquartered there.

The obvious purpose of the boycotts and resolutions is to pressure the citizens and businesses of Arizona to push their elected representatives to repeal SB 1070. "Dear Citizens and Businesses of Arizona, we will hurt you economically unless you can get your elected representatives to repeal a law that requires the enforcement of the law. We ask that you not enforce the law, as we do not enforce the law, and encourage lawlessness and illegal activity. Thank you."

Residents in Arizona are striking back. San Diego fills in the summer with Arizona residents looking to escape the heat. Less so this summer as hotels throughout the city have received cancellations from Arizonans who cite the city's politics and not feeling welcome. Not getting the connection between their city's politics and the financial impact on Arizona versus their own, Joe Terzi the President of San Diego Convention and Visitor's Bureau stated regarding the cancellations pouring over the Colorado River into his members' hotels, “This affects all the hardworking men and women who count on tourism for their livelihoods, so we’re saying, don’t do something that hurts their livelihoods.” Yes it does, just as the message sent from the San Diego City Council and Unified School District does.

Meanwhile someone in the private sector gets it, Charles Holladay is the manager of a Ramada in Mission Valley. “I understand the City Council was being passionate about their politics, but I don’t think they thought it through,” Holladay said. “If it negatively impacts hotel revenue, it impacts the transient occupancy tax, and that goes right into the general fund, so they’ll have less money for their programs.”

Which is exactly what those who are boycotting Arizona want to occur in Arizona. It is okay for us to boycott you, but please ignore our politics and come spend your money in our cities. Sorry, I and many others will not due that.

But it strikes both ways. While I am just one person with control, or rather influence, over one family's budget, I am boycotting any city or agency that boycotts Arizona. I will take my own stand to support the enforcement of the law and support the people of Arizona who are taking a stand against human smuggling, kidnapping, drug dealing and violence and huge public burdens to legal taxpayers for services required for the health, education, protection and law enforcement due to illegal immigrants. I support the people of Arizona for strengthening their laws to prosecute businesses that hire illegal immigrants. I support the federal immigration laws and their enforcement.

Any city includes my city of residence, Long Beach. If our city passes a resolution boycotting or condemning Arizona I will cease spending any money in the city as much as possible. I will buy gas near my office in Huntington Beach or Seal Beach. I will no longer shop and Ralph's and Trader Joes near our home but rather will drive to Lakewood. While convenient to stroll to dinner in Bixby Knolls, I will pack the family in the Pilot and drive across the border. My message to local businesses will be to encourage those on City Council to repeal their anti-Arizona resolutions that show support for lawlessness and illegal activity and I will return to spending my hard earned money that generates tax revenue in Long Beach, or any other city that does not stand against illegal activity and does not support federal immigration laws. Is such a stand fair to local businesses? No more or less so than a city council's actions against another state or city refusing them revenue and business based on politics.

Given the press given the Attorney General's admitting having not read the law, however I feel somewhat secure in our city council, somewhat, that once they read SB 1070 and not the newspaper, blog and television accounts of the law they will see that it makes no new immigration laws, does not allow profiling and addresses illegal immigration in a manner intended to protect the citizens of Arizona. Again, somewhat secure with one or two exceptions, okay maybe three or four.

As for Mexico, I decided a long time ago I am not visiting there again. I would rather spend our vacation dollars in Hawaii, Palm Springs, or Scottsdale, than Cancun, La Paz or even Ensenada. The corrupt government who insists on meddling in American sovereignty, supports and aids illegal immigration from its country to ours, and has created a dangerous environment along our borders deserves no support from me nor any tax revenue from my family.

So boycott away American cities. Ignore the real problems you have in your cities, the fiscal issues that are bankrupting your treasuries and leading to job losses in the public and private sectors. Just know that the actions taken by the state you condemn is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans. We support the law, and Arizona's enforcement of the law as written by the federal government. We do not support you and until your laws are repealed we boycott your cities to condemn your ignorance of the law and in support of the State of Arizona and its citizens.

In the meantime having been to Scottsdale twice in recent months, I look forward to our next family vacation in the wonderful city.



John B. Greet said...

Our oldest is now enrolled in and will be proudly attending Northern Arizona University (NAU) this fall.

While his selection of university had nothing whatsoever to do with Arizona's right to assert it's sovereignty in the way that it has through SB 1070 (he's been in the application process for over a year now), when he leearned of SB 1070 he was even more proud to be attending university in a State that seems to understand the concept of the rule of law better than some others.

Anonymous said...

I couldnt get past the first few paragraphs. You mischaracterized the law, you made an unsupported claim that Obama hasnt read the law, you claimed only liberals and democrats are opposed to this law, though san diego is GOP-heavy. At that point I just gave up.

Dennis C Smith said...

Anon: Please share how I have mischaracterized the law and also have you read the law, and if so did you read it before this morning?

PLANit Event Solutions said...

Anon: both the President and the AG have publicly stated that they have not read the law. Both the President and the AG have gone on record with sweeping condemnations of the law, interpreting it in as partisan a fashion possible.

Dennis, I agree with you. Boycotting the boycotters it is. How dare they pass judgement over AZ in so harsh a manner? Going on the record with a statement denouncing the bill would have made much more economic sense.

Anonymous said...

the law does not "prohibit...all levels of law enforcement in Arizona from ignoring federal immigration laws."


so you've mad the sin of ommission.

ALSO: to planit event solution: Please provide a source for president obama saying he hadnt read the bill. You may very well be correct, but I havent seen that.

Anonymous said...

and yes, i read the bill the day it passed, and have read at least one amended version

Dennis C Smith said...


Parsing between prohibits from not following the law and requiring? Perhaps my intention in using requirement did not provide strict interpretation, however I believe I properly conveyed the intent and did not misrepresent, if you are of a different opinion that is understandable.

Glad you read the bill and as ammended, too many have not but feel the need to opine on the law.

Regarding San Diego, while Mayor is GOP most of council is Dem. From Wiki:

In August 2007, registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by about 7 to 6.[87] Despite the edge in voter registration for Democrats, the current mayor, Jerry Sanders, is a Republican. San Diego is the largest city in the country with a Republican mayor. San Diego has not elected a Democratic mayor since 1988. Democrats hold a 6-2 majority in the City Council, including the current Council president, Ben Hueso.

Thanks for your comments and for checking in on DC's Musings.

Bob Schilling said...

There doesn't seem to be a rational reason for this law. Emotional, yes; factual, not so much.

There has been no sudden surge in violent crime. Crime rates in Arizona appear to be at or below those in here Long Beach. Violent crime in Arizona is remarkably low, even along the border.

Economic conditions in Arizona, while not great, are better than they are here. Arizona's unemployment rate is 9.4% - not healthy, but a far cry from California or Nevada, and slightly less than the national average. The State's economic product is down about 1% when adjusted for inflation. Yuma and Nogales actually saw their economies expand in adjusted dollars.

Perhaps Arizona suffers from a large influx of immigrants? Well, Arizona has about 3% of US population, and an estimated 4% of illegals. That doesn't seem compelling.

So if Arizona is not besieged by violent criminals, and if its economy is slightly less battered than most others in the region, and if there isn't an overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants, why enact this punitive law?

Many Hispanic people - and not a few African Americans - perceive bigotry at work here. They think that people with dark skin and Spanish-sounding names are going to be detained on trumped-up charges, and that anyone who can't prove their citizenship immediately is going to be caught up in the awful machinery of the criminal justice system - worse because suspected illegals can be jailed without access to judges or even lawyers. They think that Arizona's version of Driving While Black will shortly become Driving While Mexican. And I must say I think I agree with them.

Boycotts - and counter-boycotts - won't solve any of this. Sound federal legislation that imposes real deterrents to the hiring of illegal immigrants will do that. We might add to that a more rational policy on what are currently illegal substances, to moderate the destruction caused in Mexico by our national addiction to drugs.

Or we can just blame the destitute laborers we find in the desert on a dangerous and frequently illusory search for a better life. That's the simple answer. It's just not one that will ever work.

Dennis C Smith said...

Bob: Your willingness to minimalize the impact the people of Arizona feel from the economic and social impact of illegal immigration is very generous of you.

Leslie A.M. Smith said...

Bob, Arizona has 1,000 illegal immigrants coming over their border A DAY! Whether crime has changed, is irrelevant. Enough is enough. Can the Federal government really not stop 1,000 immigrants each day? This is not about ethnicity, this is about the order we have established in this country for immigration. Get a Visa, come over here, get a job, pay taxes, become a citizen. No one is stopping that process.

What's funny is that other states have done this without the hoopla. Why pick on Arizona?