Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 06:04:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Blazingstar <changingworks@...
Subject: Arizona boycott kicks off
Hispanics use boycotts, marches to protest immigration proposals
PHOENIX -- About 300 people gathered at the Arizona Capitol while others boycotted work
Tuesday to protest state laws and proposals that they say make life difficult for illegal
The work boycott affected some businesses in the Phoenix area, including restaurants that either shut down or offered limited fare because of staff shortages. It wasn't clear how many
business were involved, though the effects appeared limited.
"We don't want to break anybody's back," said boycott organizer Elias Bermudez. "We want to make sure that if the
sales went down 10 percent or 15 percent, that means that there can be consequences if we continue to have, unfortunately, these type of laws against us and
against the poor people."
Bermudez said Americans have essentially invited immigrants into the country by offering them
construction, agricultural and service industry jobs in the state.
"Every time you allow somebody to mow your lawn and you don't ask for papers, you have invited them," Bermudez said. "Every time you allow somebody to bus your table, you have invited them."
Bermudez said he doubts the boycott will change minds of lawmakers who support anti-immigrant proposals.
Arizona lawmakers are considering a proposal to prohibit illegal immigrants from attending adult education classes, receiving child care assistance and having in-state tuition status at
public universities. Another bill would bar local governments from putting taxpayer money into day labor centers that assist in
finding work for illegal immigrants.
The bills followed on the heels of a ballot initiative approved by voters in November that
requires proof of immigration status when obtaining certain government services, and proof
of citizenship when registering to vote.
The ballot measure was aimed at cutting back on illegal immigration in Arizona, the busiest
illegal entry point on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Among the protesters who spent much of the day at the Capitol were people wearing uniforms from fast food restaurants. One man carried a sign that read, "Mexicans are necessary."
The group also chanted in Spanish: "The people united, will never be defeated."
Associated Press Writer Sandy Yang contributed to
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