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US Labor and Civil Rights Organizations Call for Boycott Against Arizona

Angry demonstrations over Arizona's new immigration law have been sweeping across the United States

Angry demonstrations over Arizona's new immigration law have been sweeping across the United States

A coalition of U.S. Civil Rights and Labor organizations say they intent to boycott major events in the Southwestern state of Arizona.

This development is the latest in a growing number of protests across the country after Arizona recently passed a law that requires police to check the status of people they believe to be in the U.S. illegally.

Angry demonstrations over Arizona's new immigration law have been sweeping across the United States. The law, known as SB 1070 is due to take effect in late July. The law requires police to check the status of people they suspect of being illegal immigrants and also requires immigrants to carry registration documents at all times.

The latest protests come in the form of boycotts against Arizona's convention and tourism industry.

Janet Murguia is the President of the National Council of La Raza, one of the largest Latino Civil Rights groups in the U.S.

"We pledge not to hold major conventions, conferences or other special events involving significant travel to Arizona from out of state," she said. "SB 1070 will blow the door open to increased racial profiling wrongful arrests and other discrimination against anyone who police reasonably suspect may be undocumented."

Some supporters of the bill, including these Los Angeles radio hosts, are calling for a counter boycott.

"We thought we'd come here and talk truth to our listeners and inspire them to spend money on Arizona companies and Arizona tourism," said radio host John Cobylt.

Meanwhile, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has condemned the immigration law, saying it opens doors to intolerance and hate. Mexico has also issued a travel warning for Mexicans going to or living in Arizona.

"We don't like this law. We believe it affects Mexican nationals, even those who may reside legally in Arizona, and we believe we may have much more problems than solutions on its behalf," said Mexico's interior secretary, Fernando Gomez-Mont.

Many police officers worry the law would make it more difficult for them to get information from crime victims.

"It takes officers away from doing what our main core mission of local law enforcement is," said Phoenix Arizona police chief, Jack Harris.

Supporters of the law say it will help fight a wave of crime blamed on illegal immigrants. Arizona Republicans say the state needed to take action because U.S. officials have failed to enforce existing laws that could stop the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law.

"I support it, I think the people of Arizona support it, and I believe the majority of people throughout the country support it. We're going to stand up and push back and call on the Federal government to secure our borders," said Brewer.

While the Obama administration is critical of the new law, Homeland Security Secretary and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano says she understands why Arizona residents are so frustrated with the problem of immigration.

"It remains one of the gateway states into the country for narcotics and contraband and illegal immigration. And we have put many resources into Arizona over the last 15 months. More men, more technology and more infrastructure, more money for local law enforcement," said Napolitano.

President Obama is urging Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Many civil rights organizations support the president and say it is the only answer to combating the immigration problem in the America.