Arizona: Time to Boycott the Boycotters

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 11, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Threats are flying tonight in Arizona, threats of boycotts over their new illegal immigration law. What does Arizona think of that? Well, they have their weapon, boycotting the boycotters. Joining us in Arizona is Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. Good evening, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, sir, have you heard of specific boycotts of Arizona or are you just hearing threats?

BROOME: Well, it's -- you know, obviously, on the convention visitation side, there have been some cancelizations (SIC). We haven't heard it from a widespread perspective yet, but you know, the -- there's a lot of saber rattling on the municipality side in California. And some Arizona companies that have had long-standing positive business relationships in those communities are concerned that the cities will, in an unfair and maybe an illegal way, interrupt their business relationship when they've been delivering a quality service.

So we're paying attention to it. Right now, as you know, this issue has been mired in politics. There's been no real leadership on it. But we are paying attention to it. We're monitoring it, and we are building strategies locally on how to handle it.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, when you say there's no leadership, are you talking about on the state level or on the federal level?

BROOME: I'm really talking on the federal level. I mean, this is a - - you know, a problem that really can't be fixed in Arizona. A boycott isn't going to change the Arizona law. There's -- you know, a majority of Arizonans support the law. A majority of the American people support the law. And as Karl Rove was saying, you know, it's a law that often mirrors the federal government.

So you know, what this really needs to happen is we need border security. We need the president to step in. San Francisco's been very outspoken on this. It'd be nice to see the Speaker of the House, who I think hails from San Francisco, to lead on this.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Barry, though, I hear that from everybody. Everyone says, you know -- you know, We need to secure the borders, we need everybody to step in and blah -- it's now become blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's not happening, you know? You're not getting it. You haven't gotten it for 25 years. I don't know why you suddenly think you're going to get it now, which is what -- you know, I'm a little bit perplexed. I guess I -- I'm -- I feel your frustration.

BROOME: Yes, I mean, that's where the Arizona law comes from. The Arizona law comes from, you know, public officials feeling like this isn't happening, and you know, we have to step in and do this. And even when you think about the role of the state and the economy or the federal government's role, you know, it's amazing that -- that, you know, the White House isn't stepping in. And I've been surprised at the candor out of the Washington, D.C., that political leaders are basically saying this is too hot of an issue. And then concurrently, you have a United States senator from New Jersey who doesn't have the ability to bring the issue forward from a policy discussion, calling for a boycott of Arizona.

It's really, you know, unfair. Arizona's become a political football in this. And boycotts are only going to hurt Hispanic families in Arizona. Twenty percent of Arizona's workforce is an immigrant workforce. Most of the entry points on a workforce in Arizona for a Hispanic is usually through a simple service industry like the hospitality industry. So any convention, visitation or tourism business that's halted in Arizona is going to dramatically and directly affect Hispanic families. It won't overturn the law.

And it's starting to really shade the debate. I mean, right now, the business community in Arizona -- we more time wondering, How do we handle our reputation and image while this law gets perceived accurately or inaccurately? And then, you know, what's our point of strategy with Los Angeles and San Francisco if they start to really target Arizona companies?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we're going to be watching this, as we have. Barry, thank you, and good luck, sir.

BROOME: Thank you.

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