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4/18 AZ: Threat of National and International Boycott of Arizona Looms as 20 Anti-Immigrant Bills Move through Arizona Legislature
Released 25 April 2005  By María Poblet (Deporten a la Migra), Salvador Reza (Macehualli Work Center), Alexis Mazón (Defeat 200

April 18, 2005
Contact: María Poblet, Deporten a la Migra, 719.494.6821
Salvador Reza, Macehualli Work Center/Tonatierra, 602.743.3876% 9
Alexis Mazón, Defeat 200, 520.390.1604

Threat of National and International Boycott of Arizona Looms as 20 Anti-Immigrant Bills Move through Arizona Legislature

San Francisco delegation "Deporten a la Migra" arrives in Arizona to condemn the hate groups on the border and in the State Capitol

What & When: Press Conference, 11:00 am, Monday, April 18, 2005

Where: Arizona State Capitol, Washington & 17th Avenue, Phoenix

Who: Deporten a la Migra, a San Francisco-based coalition comprised of La Raza Centro Legal, St. Peter's Housing Committee, Heads Up Collective, PODER, SF Day Labor Program, DLP Women's Collective, Padres Unidos and Mujeres Unidas y Activas. They join Arizona-based Tonatierra, Macehualli Work Center, Defeat 200, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Border Action Network, MAYA and Sexto Sol.

Tucson -Arizona legislators backing the Minutemen Vigilante Project on the Arizona-Mexico Border are also pushing an unprecedented slew of anti-immigrant bills. In response, a growing number of groups throughout Arizona, California and Mexico are threatening a boycott of Arizona goods and services should any of these discriminatory bills become law.

Today, a 20-member delegation, Deporten a la Migra Coalition, joins with local immigrant workers and families and human rights organizations in condemning the Minutemen Project and related hate legislation. They are supporting groups who are preparing for a possible massive boycott of the state. Such a boycott would ask individuals, organizations and companies to stop both purchasing Arizona goods and conducting vacation and business activity in Arizona--unless the Governor and the legislature reject all the bills targeting immigrant families.

"The Minutemen are diverting the attention of the public and the media while their counterparts sporting suits and ties in the State Capitol promote racist laws. A war against immigrants and people of color has been declared in Arizona," said Luis Herrera, an organizer with St. Peter's Housing Committee in San Francisco.

The twenty hateful bills (see attached) attack the well-being of Latino and immigrant communities and spotlight Arizona's shameful history of discrimination against people of color. The proposed bills are based on the false assumption that immigrants do not pay taxes. In reality, Mexican immigrants alone contribute more than $600 million annually in income and sales taxes in Arizona. After subtracting for the costs of services they take, Arizona still receives a fiscal surplus of $318 million from immigrants annually. Immigrants also pay millions of dollars every year into Social Security, which they will never get back, and bolster Arizona's economy by providing low-wage labor.

"Clearly, racism and not this perceived 'economic drain' are driving these bills," said Alexis Mazón, a volunteer with Defeat 200 in Tucson. Many of the bills effectively limit access to education and voting. Others will lock up immigrants for a longer period of time and lead to even more systematic racial profiling of people of color.

The delegation Deporten a la Migra from San Francisco seeks to publicize the white supremacist nature of both the Minutemen Project and the 20 anti-immigrant bills. They denounce the violations of immigrant rights from detention centers in Guantanamo to those in Tucson. They demand recognition of the economic injustices resulting from NAFTA and the FTAA that propel immigration.

"We see the effects of these free trade policies every day in the faces of the workers at our Center," said Salvador Reza, director of the Macehualli Work Center in Phoenix. One of the bills, HB 2592, would ban day labor centers. "Prop 200 and its henchmen have got to be stopped, or this place is in for a boycott."

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