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L.A. County boycott of Arizona approved by divided Board of Supervisors

Martin Santiago, right, and daughter Lucero, 3, of Van Nuys walk past a mural on Broadway on their way to May Day march for immigrant rights in downtown Los Angeles to protest tough new immigration law in Arizona.

After heated debate, Los Angeles County supervisors voted 3 to 2 today to boycott Arizona in response to the passage of its controversial illegal immigration law.

“This law simply goes too far,” said Gloria Molina, the boycott’s primary sponsor. “A lot of people have pointed out that I am sworn as an L.A. County supervisor to uphold the Constitution. All I can say is that I believe that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional.”

Molina’s boycott was supported by Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Mark Ridley-Thomas and opposed by Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe.

“We need solutions, not boycotts,” Antonovich said.

Ridley-Thomas was the last to announce his position and was the focus of much of the public comment, drawing dozens of people on both sides of the issue.

Among the speakers against the boycott were the family members of Jamiel Shaw II, a football player who was recruited by Stanford and Rutgers before he was gunned down in 2008, allegedly by Pedro Espinoza. A member of the 18th Street gang in the U.S. illegally, prosecutors say, Espinoza had been released from jail a day before the shooting after serving time for an earlier offense.

Molina first proposed suspending county-funded travel to Arizona unless the county’s chief executive determines it would seriously harm county interests.

The boycott also calls for a divestiture of Arizona’s state and municipal bonds by the county’s pension fund. The county’s auditor-controller estimated that the county has spent about $122 million over the past five years on Arizona goods and services.  Treasurer-Tax Collector Mark Saladino said the county had no commercial paper or investments that would be affected by the boycott.

The Arizona law requires police to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop and suspect is in the country illegally. It also makes it a state crime to lack proper immigration papers. Top U.S. Justice Department officials have drafted a legal challenge asserting that Arizona's law is unconstitutional because it impinges on the federal government's authority to police the nation's borders.

-- Garrett Therolf at the L.A. County Hall of Administration

Photo: Immigration protesters after a May Day march in downtown L.A. Times file

Comments () | Archives (132)

Well, it is official, Los Angeles just became the first county that I will boycott. I choose to do this because of their idiotic boycott of Arizona. In a time when it is to every Americans benefit to support one another, L.A. county has chosen to stop doing so with an entire state. Well, if they are in such great fiscal shape that they can do that, then they do not need my money, my families or my businesses. Good luck to you L.A., I will not set foot or spend another dollar there for some time.

Ridley-Thomas you should be ashamed of yourself.

This is what LA county needed to do to stop Arizona's ill law to spread to other states and localities. Thanks to the Supervisors who provided leadership and courage to show the way forward.

Gloria Molina does not want anyone going so far as to ask if you have legal status in this country. I wonder why? Is she counting votes? You bet she is. She believes the Arizona law is unconstitutional. That is her only justification to encourage civil disobedience. As a citizen I dare anyone to try that one with a law they feel is unconstitutional.
Mark Ridley-Thomas of all people should have not voted against his people. The Black community has suffered more than any other group from illegal’s taking their jobs and being the cause of countless killings of innocent Blacks. Most Blacks should know this unless they are following the Democrat party line. Unemployment in the Black community is not only due to lack of jobs it is because of thousands of jobs have gone to the undocumented.
Zev Yaroslavsky realizes he in trouble because his name is not Latino and there are signs he will never make it again unless he sings alone the party line. Even then he may not make it but his weak backbone will not allow him to stand up for his fellow Americans. Say a law is unconstitutional before it even goes into effect is one thing but to encourage others to disobey or to boycott another American state is just wrong.
Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe did the right thing and voted for sanity. They did not bend to the screaming voices of panic. “We need solutions, not boycotts,” is really the correct response. The Arizona law will force the Federal Government to do what there were supposed to have done decades ago: seal the border, identify all with out proper documents and put them at the end of the line by sending them to their home while the wait. That is a fair thing to do.
The biggest joke of all is the statement that: “Top U.S. Justice Department officials have drafted a legal challenge asserting that Arizona's law is unconstitutional because it impinges on the federal government's authority to police the nation's borders”. This law does not interfere with nor impinges the workings of the Federal Government except it embarrasses the Federal Government because they are not doing what they are being paid to do.
Watch my vote and that of many others Gloria, Mark & Zev.

Oh my, no Molina is a constitutional lawyer! She couldn't be a lawyer on a traffic ticket. I guess she has nothing to do in her current job, she doesn't even know what her duties include.

Zev and Ridley are eqally mis-guided, they must need more projects, obviously they are also not busy enough on County projects. What jerks

boycott Los Angeles. obviously the City counsel has no problem with anything illegal.

illegal is illegal constitutional rights u have to be a citizen to enjoy those rights so how can rights of illegals be violated? grow up city council read the law

I buy most of the items I buy on the internet (lots on EBay) and any item located in Ca is a no buy from the word go. I recommend a total boycott of Ca.


Gloria Molina proved, once and for all, that her allegiance is to Mexico and not to the country she purports to represent.

They should keep their nose out of Arizona's business and take care of California's problems. IDIOTS!!!!

What a shame that these 3 idiots can not keep their noses out of other states business. They should worry about the legal tax payers here that voted then into office where they sit on their fat butts doing nothing good to help improve the county.As for Gloria Molina she is one of the biggest racist I ever met. This will come back and bite them and then the tax payers are going to be stuck with the short end of the stick and some how thses 3 political jack@$$'$ will walk away like it's not their fault. As far Arizona, see you this summer and I will spend my money their and support you.

What a bunch of spineless, gutless pieces of humanity! You make me SICK!

Here Yee Here Yee all yee people who are sick of public officials refusing to do the duties they were sworn to when they took office and collected their checks. I say since the County of Los Angeles plans to Boycott Arizona that we Boycott the County of Los Angeles. People who were elected to these positions forget that they were elected by U.S citizens. I have to ask you are you REALLY PISSED OFF ENOUGH TO PUT YOUR MONEY IN THE PLACE THAT UPHOLDS THE LAW AND OFFICE they hold, even if it is inconvenient. For every illegal immigrant in this country working at least one U.S citizen’s identity has been stolen. I implore all pissed off people to take my advice and that is DO NOT SPEND ONE DOLLAR IN THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, the City of Los Angeles or any city or state that boycotts the Arizona for enforcing out countries constitution. READ THE LAW YOU IGNORANT ELECTED OFFICIAL’S it enforces the US Constitution. The officials are not hired to interpret the laws but to work for us and comply with and enforce them we cannot enforce only laws we find convenient this is mob mentality. We are a country of laws and that is why people came here to begin with. You will not make this a third world country while I am breathing. I beg people who agree with this to REFUSE to pull out your Visa cards, MasterCard’s, debit cards or cash out and spend it at any establishment who is in Los Angeles. If you need to grocery shop, buy gas, eat lunch, rent a hotel for family, hire an attorney, buy a car, obtain a business license, rent office space, hire or contractor, anything that involves spending any money at all take the drive. HERE is another perk not only will you be sticking it to these people who refuse to do their jobs, you will save money in sales tax alone. Please vote and take note of these people who need pink slips I have a list in fact consider impeachment for insubordination.

Fools running our city and state!

My God, How Stupid can LA County be?
Arizona's law is NOT unconstitutional.
It figures the person that Sponsored the LA Boycott is also a HISPANIC.

Look at the national polls, A MAJORITY of Americans support what Arizona has do and is doing. It's time California does the same as Arizona.

Three to two vote of the county board of supervisors serves to identify the three that need to get voted out next time around. Thanks.
Arizona should be praised for taking a step towards controlling illegal immigration, which is something the federal government nor California politicians have had the political will and courage to do. Instead of making moves against Arizona, California politicians should be making laws and policies to curb illegal immigration in California.

What can you say, these people have failed in their duties as administrators and educators, and now they are just trying to win brownie points with the powerful union and hispanic lobbies who now run this pathetic, broken town.

silly move...

I'm glad the Board of Supervisors decided on the Arizona boycott before our upcoming trip to California. Now there will be no stops at restaurants in Los Angeles County, no overnight accommodations there, no visits to attractions there, etc., on the part of our family.

Gloria Molina and company are IDIOTS. Self Serving Bureaucrats. They react on their own whim without consideration of their constituents. Time to kick these fools to the curb and vote them out of office. LA County deserves better supervisors.

Keep up your crap, illegals and supporters, I don't think the US will take it for much longer

Where did all the comments go? Did the Times delete them?

Wow...It amazes me how they are saying it is "unconstitutional because it impinges on the federal government's authority to police the nation's borders". How about the fact that they are BREAKING THE LAW! What amazes me further is the fact that Mexico has no problem enforcing the same law and it is no big deal. Aren't we supposed to guard our borders...The ones who need to boycotted is L.A. We need a president who is willing to take all the measures to protect and serve Americans.

There were several comments. Now all deleted. I just asked where did all the comments go? I'm guessing someone is messing with this because only one was not directly opposed to the round-up of illegal immigrants.

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