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L.A. council won't exempt itself from Arizona boycott

October 18, 2011 |  5:59 pm

Los Angeles Councilman Ed Reyes

Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes on Tuesday abandoned his push to exempt his colleagues from a boycott of Arizona, saying that he did not want the city to be viewed as “wishy-washy” on immigration and civil rights.

Reyes called on the council last week to waive the Arizona travel ban -- passed in May 2010 to protest  that state’s crackdown on illegal immigration -- so that he and other council members could attend a conference in Phoenix.  He said he dropped the idea after speaking with his colleagues, saying he wanted the city’s policy to remain consistent.

Councilman Richard Alarcon thanked Reyes for changing course, saying he was sure that the councilman was “absolutely committed” to fighting Senate Bill 1070. He argued that if the exemption had been approved,  “there’s no way to change the message that would get out into the media.”

“It would appear to be a contradiction. It would be appear to be ironic. It would appear to be working against the Arizona boycott,” Alarcon said.

SB 1070  required police to check the status of those they suspect of being in the country illegally. That provision was struck down in federal court.

Since the boycott was approved, Los Angeles has continued to maintain tens of millions of dollars worth of contracts with Arizona companies and, on some occasions, lifted the ban to purchase certain products and services.


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Photo: Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes meets last year with supporters of an Arizona city travel and business ban. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times