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New: Oakland: Council Votes to Boycott Arizona over Immigration Law

By Bay City News
Wednesday May 05, 2010 - 05:17:00 PM

The Oakland City Council voted Tuesday night to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based businesses to protest the state's tough new immigration law 

The resolution passed by the council states that Arizona's SB 1070 "sets the clock back on a generation of civil rights gains" and "will inevitably lead to racial profiling, jeopardize public safety and create a wedge between law enforcement and ethnic communities." 

Council members approved the nonbinding resolution 7-0. Ignacio De La Fuente missed the meeting due to a family emergency. At a news conference at City Hall last week, De La Fuente said he strongly supported the resolution. 

The law, which was signed on April 23 by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, gives police broad powers to detain people they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally.  

Oakland's boycott, with some exceptions, calls for city officials not to enter contracts with or purchase goods from companies with headquarters in Arizona; calls on city staffers to review existing contracts with Arizona companies; and vows to keep city employees from traveling to Arizona on official business. 

A number of other cities, including San Francisco, have called for or already implemented similar boycotts. 

In addition, a group of students at the University of California at Berkeley is in its third day of a hunger strike and is asking the university to publicly oppose the law. 

Paul Senseman, a spokesman for Brewer, denied that the law will lead to racial profiling, saying, "This bill's language specifically makes racial profiling illegal." 

"The bill merely mirrors existing federal law. It is neither 'tougher' or more stringent than the current federal regulations of immigration," Senseman said.