Grijalva calls for boycott of Arizona over proposed immigration bill

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Representative Raul Grijalva By Catherine Holland Representative Raul Grijalva By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – There are new developments on the business front of the immigration debate including concerned contractors and a state official calling for a business boycott.

The surprising call for a boycott of Arizona came Tuesday from Representative Raul Grijalva, who represents southern Arizona in the United States Congress. He had some advice to businesses: “Refrain from using Arizona as a convention sight spending their dollars in Arizona until Arizona turns the clock forward instead of backwards."

Rep. Grijalva also said boycotts have worked in the past. Some business leaders say the immigration bill has already had an effect on business.

Sheridan Bailey says, “It sends a bad message that things are out of control in Arizona."

The group Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform wants border reform on the federal level but calls the state bill a permit for racial profiling and a deterrent for new businesses.

Todd Landfried, with Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, says, “If you had the chance of locating a business where your top execs are Latino…you're going to put them in an environment where they can be pulled over for whatever reason because somebody might have reasonable suspicion?" 

Among other concerns are tough new punishments for using undocumented workers, which bill sponsor Senator Russell Pearce set in place. He said last week, “If you pick up illegal workers, which it's a felony to hire them, then we're going to charge you and impound your vehicle."

Some contractors 3TV spoke to say they fear punishment if one of their many sub-contractors at one of their many work sites hires or transports an illegal immigrant.

Bailey says, “It puts their license at risk and that's not fair."

Legislators who passed the bill say those contractors will just have to be more vigilant about who is working for them.