Seattle City Council votes to boycott Arizona

Seattle City Council votes to boycott Arizona
SEATTLE -- The Seattle City Council unanimously voted Monday to boycott Arizona in protest of the state's recent law that cracks down on illegal immigration.

The resolution cuts city-related travel and other ties to Arizona. Among the items in the boycott, the city government will not buy Arizona-based goods, send government people to meetings in Arizona, and will not sign any new contracts with businesses based in Arizona. Current contracts will be honored.

Other cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles have already pledged similar boycotts and the Tacoma City Council is taking up a similar proposed boycott on Tuesday.

The Arizona law requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.

Several local advocate groups say they fear in Arizona, police could round them up.

"What's essentially happening is you're legalizing racial profiling; legalizing racism," said Estela Ortega with Centro de la Raza.

While supporters of the law argue that's simply not true.

"It specifically states that officers cannot stop people based simply on their race or color or appearance," said Craig Kelly.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn was already personally boycotting Arizona over the immigration measure and was pleased the council took up the matter to make it city policy.

"Seattle is home to the most diverse zip code in the nation," McGinn said in a statement released prior to the vote. "For communities to thrive, we need to uphold basic principals and values of fairness, family, and opportunity for all."

The city of Phoenix is estimating it could lose $90 million in tourism money over the next five years due to boycotts.

The city council says its resolution is not meant to hurt Arizona residents, but put pressure on the federal government to step-in with a comprehensive immigration reform plan.