In the weeks since Arizona passed its controversial anti-immigration law, pundits outraged at the measure have thrown around ideas about boycotting the state. The boycott proposals were mainly considered symbolic gestures of disapproval. But now the boycotts appear to be having an economic impact. One passed by the Los Angeles city council, which forbids any official travel to the state and pursues the cancellation of all $58 million in city contracts to Arizona companies, has drawn significant attention. Are the boycotts a good idea? Are they going to change immigration policy?
- Arizona Tourism Loses $6-10M Think Progress' Andrea Nill writes that the now 23 canceled events "couldn’t be happening at a worse time for Arizona’s tourism industry. Earlier this year, the Arizona legislature decided to cut the tourism budget back significantly, slashing the parks budget alone by $8.6 million. The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona tourism lobbyists simply didn’t see the Arizona tourism backlash coming when they decided to ignore SB-1070 as it moved through the state Congress."
- Phoenix 'Near Economic Crisis' With $90M Possible Loss Talking Points Memo's Zachary Roth reports on a report produced at the request of the Phoenix mayor and city council to study "the potential economic impact of canceled trips" due to the immigration boycott. Roth emphasizes that the findings are speculative and the math vague, but that it concludes the city could lose as much as $90 million.
- Boycotts Won't Turn Public Support for Law National Review's Heather Mac Donald cautions, "The illegal-alien lobby won’t take on the law as written, because the lobby knows that the overwhelmingly majority of Americans would support the law as written. Even with media coverage that has been unrelentingly biased and inaccurate, 59 percent of adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press say they support the Arizona law."
- Is the L.A. Boycott Constitutional? Legal blogger David Post worries, "I wouldn’t think that the 'dormant commerce clause,' which prohibits discriminatory measures taken by one State (or municipality within a State) against another, could countenance this. But maybe I’m missing something?" The Moderate Voice's Jason Arvak explores in greater detail.
- Like L.A. Had Any Money Anyway Arizona blogger Exurban Jon quips, "No biggie. They can only pay us in IOUs anyway."
- Boycott Gov. Brewer, Not Arizona The Huffington Post's Luis Heredia reminds us that a lot of people live in Arizona, all of whom would be hurt by the boycott, but only Arizona's politicians who voted for the immigration law should be targeted. "Extremist Republicans control our state government. But now there is momentum in Arizona and a unique chance to take back our state."
- L.A. Boycott Can't Touch Air Travel The L.A. Times' Paul Thornton writes, "I can think of one contract the city won't be able cancel, let alone modify because of the boycott: service by Arizona-based airlines US Airways and Mesa Air at LAX. Federal regulations prohibit public airports from unjustly discriminating against different carriers; telling US Airways it can no longer serve LAX because of an ideological disagreement between Los Angeles and Arizona probably wouldn't fly with the feds."
- Boycotts Aided by 'Ethnic Studies' Ban Reflecting on Arizona's controversial ban on classes that advocate "ethnic solidarity" in schools, the Moderate Voice's Elijah Sweete writes, "Just as the furor over Arizona’s anti-immigrant law had drifted from the focal point of the news and Arizona boycott proponents lost that 'headline' advantage in their efforts, Brewer put another arrow in their quiver."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.