Workers push SJ council to boycott Arizona

The San Jose City Council next Tuesday will consider a resolution to boycott the State of Arizona over its new profile law. (Photo courtesy of ABC7 News reporter David Louie)

June 3, 2010 10:31:07 PM PDT
The issue of immigration and Arizona's handling of it sparked a protest in San Jose Thursday and once again there is talk of a boycott.

Rallies such as the one organized by the service workers union, are trying to keep up attention on immigration reform. The lightning rod was passage of a tough law in Arizona in April that allows officers to demand proof of legal status when questioning someone.

One by one, government bodies have been considering a boycott doing business with Arizona companies. It came up last week at the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Next week, there's a resolution before the San Jose City Council.

SEIU Northern California Vice President Denise Solis says the union is pushing for immigration reform. It claims to have as members the largest number of immigrant workers of any union.

"We absolutely support San Jose and other cities in the Bay Area and across California who are boycotting Arizona," said one union member.

Rafael Ramos, who moved here 10 years ago from Mexico, opposes the Arizona law.

"I think this is really something that is not going to help solve the problem. This is something that is giving more problems to the country," says Ramos.

John Guerrero is leader of the Tea Party in Fremont. He supports what Arizona is doing.

"This is really Arizona protecting its citizens. The law is really there to protect the citizens of Arizona against all the drug dealers, the kidnappings," says Ramos.

Guerrero is referring to the violence and crime that have spilled over the border.

"ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference," said Virginia Kice, a spokesperson for ICE. "We recognize that our nation's broken immigration system requires serious solutions, and we fully support comprehensive immigration reform efforts."

Twenty states are thinking about passing laws similar to Arizona's. The White House has promised to send 1,200 National Guard troops to help secure the border, while lawmakers are hoping to pass immigration reform.

This protest has been aimed at ICE, the enforcement agency of Homeland Security. However, the office where they were protesting in front of happens to be customs and border protection.


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