May 6, 2010
WASHINGTON – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) today joined leading civil rights and labor organizations to announce an economic boycott of the state of Arizona. The boycott is in protest of Arizona’s new law, SB 1070, which essentially legalizes racial profiling.
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Under the banner, “Boycott Intolerance,” the groups held a press conference this morning to denounce SB 1070 and pledged not to hold major conventions, conferences or other special events involving significant travel to Arizona from out-of-state.
The UFCW released the following statement about the boycott:
“Arizona’s legislation is unworkable, it is unconstitutional and it undermines our nation’s rich immigrant history and heritage. It is a recipe for racial profiling and a marked retreat from the values and ideals that make America strong.
“For our members, this issue is personal. UFCW members have seen first-hand how enforcement-only tactics fuel racial profiling—and lead to the trampling of our constitution.
“We saw it during the Bush Administration raids on our Swift plants—how Latino workers were treated, how they were profiled because of the color of their skin, how law enforcement separated workers based simply on who they believed were undocumented.
“We saw how these heavy handed tactics unfairly – and incorrectly – targeted U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. That is why we are committed to fighting this legislation – and why we are abstaining from doing business in the state of Arizona until this issue is resolved.
“But let’s be clear, the UFCW is not turning its backs on the workers of Arizona that are going to be targeted by this unjust law—we will work hard to defend their constitutional rights. We will be providing legal assistance and resources to ensure that all workers can vigorously defend their rights.
“Our country – and our communities – cannot stand by while these draconian measures are allowed to spread across our country.
“In recent years, the debate over immigration has grown increasingly polarizing. The Arizona bill is the result of that divisive debate—and the product of political expediency at its worst.
“America needs an immigration system that works for the American worker. We need to refocus this debate on real, meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform that restores the rule of law, respects the constitutional rights of all workers and recognizes the incredible role that our nation’s diversity has played—and will continue to play—in making our communities strong and vibrant.”