LOS ANGELES (CNS) – About 30 people — some of them members of the Tea
Party movement — held a rally in front of City Hall today to protest the Los
Angeles City Council’s vote to boycott Arizona over its law cracking down on
“We’re not going to stand for it,’ protester Tony Katz said. “We want
a safe, lawful Los Angeles, we believe in a safe and lawful Arizona, and we
believe in strong borders and we believe in a strong America.’
Another protester shouted “`Illegal’ is the key word there,’ adding
that the council should focus on solving its own problems — such as a massive
budget deficit — “and then once you fix it, then maybe you can step out and
talk about other things.’
The City Council voted 13-1 May 12 — with Councilman Greig Smith
dissenting — to approve an economic boycott of Arizona in hopes of pressuring
the state into repealing Senate Bill 1070.
The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act makes it
illegal to be in Arizona without proper documentation. It authorizes local law
enforcement to investigate a person’s immigration status whenever there is a
reasonable suspicion that the individual is in the country illegally.
However, it bars solely using race, color, or national origin to
question suspected illegal immigrants.
Councilwoman Janice Hahn, one of the proponents of the Arizona boycott,
stood by the council’s decision.
“We know that people are frustrated about illegal immigration but we on
the City Council do not feel like (Arizona’s new immigration law) is the
right way to address this frustration,’ she said. “We believe it targets a
certain segment of our population and we believe it could target American
citizens. We know the federal government needs to take up immigration reform,
but we think this law targets American citizens who may look a certain way.’
Gary Aminoff, first vice chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles
County and organizer of today’s rally, said the council acted irresponsibly
in approving the Arizona boycott.
“The state of Arizona is dealing with its own issues,’ he said. “It’s
not up to the City Council of the city of Los Angeles to decide to boycott
and cut off funding to Arizona. That only hurts the people of Arizona and does
nothing to deal with the issues that the L.A. City Council is ostensibly
Aminoff said today’s protest “has nothing to do with race, color of
skin, country of origin, language or color of hair.’
“It has to do with a law and order issue of people who come here
illegally and abuse the system,’ he told City News Service. “We wouldn’t care
if the 12 to 15 million illegals in this country were Swedish — we would still
oppose illegal immigration.’
Aminoff called Senate Bill 1070 “a restatement of the federal law’ and
“closely duplicates’ Section 834b of California’s Penal Code, which calls
for every law enforcement agency in the state to attempt to verify whether an
arrestee is legally in the country.
The law’s opponents show “a lack of trust in Arizona’s police officers
that feel they would intentionally profile by race,’ Aminoff said.
Aminoff said he does not think the council will rescind the boycott
because of the protest.
“What we want to do is bring a message to the City Council there are
many people in the city of Los Angeles who do not agree with their decision to
boycott Arizona,’ Aminoff said.
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