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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)

It must be nice for the county supervisors to have 3 million dollars in their slush fund to spend anyway they like at taxpayers expense and then the 3 of them voted to boycott AZ. What the hell are they gonna get accomplish? oh, i guess to show that they support law breakers.....hmmm. Those 3 pigs ought to get carry out naked and tarred.....i'm sick of em.

I still do not understand why LA council members are allowed to become involved in the politics of another state and why these people (LA council members) are allowed to use pension funds and other public financial resources to essentially blackmail and hold hostage another group of people who have the guts to back laws that are already in existence.

This is a slippery road to start going down. First of all the LA council does not represent me. They should stick to the business of running LA...not taking a political stand. If only they could keep politics out of the issues maybe they could do their job that they were elected to do.

The amount of distortion about this bill is astounding. No one has advocated mass arrest and deportations. This is not an anti-immigration bill, its an anti ILLEGAL immigration bill. I have yet to have anyone tell me what is the problem with having people follow the law to become citizens. And as far as calling me racist...if it were blond haired Swedes I would take the same stand.

I'm getting so tired of all these rightwing bigots bombarding this great forum with hate. If they like this racist law so much why don’t they get the hell out of California and move to Arizona.

I love Arizona!

For the 50% of Californians who support Arizona, one easy way to show your support is through a new website that promotes the state and its travel destinations and products:


Molina is a sleaze ball always looking out for the tax takers such as illegals while taking the fewer and fewer taxpayers for fools-and they are fools to continue voting for these corrupt politicians. What exactly do these idiot supervisors think will happen when L.A. reaches the tipping point of more tax takers and far fewer tax payers? According to the L.A. Times, that day is coming as the productive and educated Baby Boomers retire w/few people capable of taking their place in the workforce. It's going to get uglier here as L.A. becomes a city of the uneducated poor.

er.. isn't californias law essentially the same thing?

isn't arizonas "controversial" and "racist" law just a re-statement of federal law -you know, the one the federal government refuses to enforce?

its a sad day when our own politicians refuse to defend us from an invasion of foreign settlers, simply because it conflicts with their world view (and since this is LA, its a view that is far removed from reality).

political correctness will be the death of us.

Sethhook, Southwest Airlines in based in Texas (possibly the next state to enact a anti illegal immigration bill). US Airways is based in Phoenix.

dum dum dum

I hope Arizona cuts off all power they supply LA which I believe is about 30-40%. What a bunch of arrogant a-holes. Have fun paying crazy energy prices this summer LA!

What happened to all the other comments you dumped? Is it because you disagreed with them, then found that all others agreed with them, so decided to publish? What's going on?

Good job LA County. Thank you for taking a stand against bigotry and racism.

See Dean Milk v. Madison, 340 U.S. 349 or the Dormant Commerce Clause.

What LA and other cities are doing is in direct violation of the Constitution.

Ironically, they are doing this because Arizona passed a bill which supports Federal Law.

I believe this means LA, SF, Seattle and the other cities are all officially Rouge, and maybe the US Military should be dispatched to seize control of these cities before things get even more out of hand.

Embarrassed to be a Californian - soon to be ex-L.A. resident

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 U.S. 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, but you will also 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.

This is the exact mentality that has brought L.A. to its present miserable state. Has anybody at the L.A. City Hall ever considered L.A. and California may end up suffering the most economically? I have traveled extensively around the U.S. lately and I'm hearing people all over this amazing nation calling for boycotts of both San Fran and L.A. Our city cannot afford any boycotts, especially with unemployment in the double digits.

Well, LA County, I guess I will just have to boycott YOU. No more flying into Long Beach or LAX, no more renting cars there, no more paying you sales tax on anything I buy. By the way, I know a lot of people who agree with me.

I am going to laugh my a$$ off when Arizona decides to shut off the %25 of the electricity that Los Angeles consumes on a daily basis. Your "ethically challenged" mayor must have forgot to include that in the boycott. Idiot.

Another boycott brought to you by a county that can't run its own business. Did anyone notice that the boycotts are all started by Hispanic elected officials? The same officials that swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States!

I can't think of a better way to encourage racial profiling than to continue to allow the minority to dictate to the majority!

All of us who are in favor of Arizona's enforcement of a FEDERAL LAW must not allow this action to be forgotten. When it comes to election time, we must all remember the irresponsible actions of these publicly elected officials, and vote them out and keep them out. Sadly, the racist platform is being exploited for the purpose of pushing the ANMESTY AGENDA!!!

I've no doubt amnesty will be granted, and beef of the voting public for these idiot officials, but once the illegals realize they are still only pawns in the game, perhaps they'll wise up and vote against LA's government.

Hey Gloria,

What law school did you attend? What Bar did you pass? You're voting based on your own legal judgement, without being an attorney? Does that mean that I can be a County Supervisor because I think I'm qualified to opine? How exactly is this LA County's issue? Do you all not have enough to do? We can certainly pass a law to make you all part-time, cut your salaries by two thirds, and take away all of your perks? How does that sound? Elections are next week, and these idiots are on the ballot in some districts... pony up and speak with your vote. Oh yes, Gloria - maybe I'll call the Sheriff to come to arrest *you* for violating the CA penal code and for violating your oath. You have no basis to do either, and yet here you are (with your compadres). You're not as special as your big ego would have you believe. Maybe a few days in the slammer, in general pop, would shape you up? We elect these idiots, and we have the power to remove them. Let's use it.

Make sure LA county doesn't buy any of their electricity then, or accept their firefighters in September when SoCal burns, etc.. all for show, political grandstanding catering to who? People who supposedly cannot vote - or do they?

The operative word in California Civil Code 834 is 'arrested'. This a big difference from the Arizona law where a simple interaction with the police can prompt questions if the police officer has 'reasonable suspicion' which might as well mean 'fits the profile'.

At least with California Civil Code 834 police policy can simply be to check immigration status of all who are arrested, but the Arizona law leaves further investigation to the discretion of the police officer, i.e. 'reasonable suspicion', i.e. 'fits the profile'.

He NativeAmerican get a grip. How do you know it is unconstitutional? Are you on the supreme court? Wow, it is amazing how many sea lawyers are out there.
Posted by: NativeAmerican | June 01, 2010 at 07:15 PM

I can not beleive that with all the problems Los Angeles has that my county supervisors spent time on this!!! Maybe they should spend such time on our kids education in LAUSD! Maybe if they cared about LA like they do Arizona we would get somewhere! Says a lot of where our supervisors! What a disgrace!!!!

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