Herrera calls for sweeping boycott of Arizona over draconian new immigration law

City Attorney pledges full support of his office to audit and pursue termination of City contracts with Arizona governments, businesses

SAN FRANCISCO (April 26, 2010) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today called upon City policymakers to adopt and implement a sweeping boycott of the State of Arizona and Arizona-based businesses in the wake of a draconian new anti-immigration measure signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday. Citing San Francisco’s moral leadership against such past injustices as South African apartheid, the exploitation of migrant farm workers, the economic oppression of Catholics in Northern Ireland, and discrimination against the LGBT community, Herrera offered the services of his office’s contracts, government litigation and investigations teams to work closely with City departments and commissions to identify applicable contracts and to aggressively pursue termination wherever legally tenable. Herrera also offered the assistance of his office’s attorneys in any legal challenges to the Arizona law.

Arizona’s controversial new law makes it a state-level crime for someone to be in the country illegally, and even criminalizes the failure to carry immigration documents at all time by lawful foreign residents. It additionally imposes a requirement for police officers to question those they suspect may be in the United States illegally. Civil libertarians have sharply criticized the law for being an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against all Latinos, regardless of their citizenship. It has also been rebuked by the nation’s law enforcement community, with the president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, San Jose Police Chief Robert Davis, reiterating his organization’s 2006 policy statement that requiring local police to enforce immigration laws “would likely negatively effect and undermine the level of trust and cooperation between local police and immigrant communities.”

“Arizona has charted an ominous legal course that puts extremist politics before public safety, and betrays our most deeply-held American values,” said Herrera, who is himself the son of an immigrant from Latin America. “Just as it did two decades ago when it refused to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Arizona has again chosen to isolate itself from the rest of the nation. Our most appropriate response is to assure that their isolation is tangible rather than merely symbolic. San Francisco should lead the way in adopting and aggressively pursuing a sweeping boycott of Arizona and Arizona-based businesses until this unjust law is repealed or invalidated. My office is fully committed to work with San Francisco city departments and commissions to identify all applicable contracts, and to pursue termination wherever possible. And my office stands ready to assist in any legal challenges in whatever way it can.”