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West Hollywood considers economic action against Arizona

May 3, 2010 | 11:50 am

Add West Hollywood to the growing list of local governments considering action against Arizona after the state passed its controversial new legislation on illegal immigrants.

The left-leaning City Council will consider a resolution Monday night that would ban any official travel to Arizona and prompt a review of contracts with Arizona businesses. Arizona’s new legislation requires police to determine whether people they stop are in the country illegally.

Proponents of SB 1070, which has polled positively in Arizona and the nation, say the law is crucial to stemming violent drug trafficking from Mexico. Opponents have attacked the legislation, saying it will promote racial profiling and discourage illegal immigrants from cooperating in police investigations.

West Hollywood is the latest in a number of local and state municipalities that have blasted the controversial new legislation. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and members of the Los Angeles City Council have expressed support for similar boycott proposals.

San Francisco has already taken economic action against Arizona, and the leader of the California Senate, Darrell Steinberg, has proposed boycotting businesses from the Southwestern state.

“To be stopped and confronted because your skin is darker or your hair is darker, to have to prove you’re in fact an American is really insulting,” said West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem John Duran.

West Hollywood’s City Council has a long history of wide-reaching liberal resolutions, most recently banning the sales of most cats and dogs at pet stores. If approved, the city clerk would review all dealings with Arizona, and alternative vendors would be considered.

Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, who introduced the resolution, said the city has had about a dozen contracts with Arizona businesses in the last five years, valued at approximately $20,000.

City officials would also halt official trips to the state, like one Duran said he and others took about three years ago for an environmental conference in Phoenix.

-- Robert Faturechi