Los Angeles Boycott of Arizona is Hypocritical, Congressman Says

A California congressman is blasting the decision this week by the Los Angeles County's Board of Supervisors to boycott Arizona to protest the state's tough new law targeting illegal immigration.

In a letter to the supervisors Thursday, Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., called the decision "misguided" and "outright hypocritical," citing the county's participation in a federal program that gives state and local law enforcement officials authority to initiate deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants linked to serious crimes.

"I urge the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to reconsider its decision to boycott Arizona," he wrote. "State and local governments have the right to protect its citizens and enforce federal immigration status."

On Tuesday, the supervisors, after a heated debate, voted 3-2 to ban new contracts with Arizona-based companies and review those that could be canceled. The county has more than $26 million in contracts with Arizona companies this year.

Several California cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, have passed similar measures.

The Arizona law, set to go into effect July 29, requires police enforcing another law to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally.

U.S. Justice Department officials have drafted a legal challenge asserting that Arizona's law is unconstitutional because it intrudes on the federal government's authority to guard the nation's borders.

Critics of the law also say it unfairly targets Hispanics and could lead to racial profiling.

Proponents insist racial profiling will not be tolerated.

The boycott also calls for the county's pension fund to rid itself of any investments in Arizona's state and municipal bonds. The county does have investments that would be affected by the boycott, said the county's treasurer, Mark Saladino.