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Poll: Was the L.A. City Council right to pass a boycott of Arizona?

May 13, 2010 | 11:15 am
City Hall did it:

The Los Angeles City Council, protesting Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigration, voted Wednesday to ban most city travel to Arizona and future contracts with companies in that state.

Boycott Council members argued that a new Arizona law, which will make it a state crime to lack immigration papers and requires police to determine whether people they stop are in the country illegally, would lead to racial profiling and discrimination. The law takes effect July 23. ...

The council also called on the city attorney's office to review all of the city's $58 million in existing contracts with Arizona companies to determine which can be canceled.

The resolution, which now heads to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, would still allow city officials to travel to Arizona under "special circumstances" that are in the city's interests. Also, existing contracts with Arizona firms would be exempt from the ban if canceling them would lead to "significant additional cost" to the city.

I can think of one contract the city won't be able cancel, let alone modify because of the boycott: service by Arizona-based airlines US Airways and Mesa Air at LAX. Federal regulations prohibit public airports from unjustly discriminating against different carriers; telling US Airways it can no longer serve LAX because of an ideological disagreement between Los Angeles and Arizona probably wouldn't fly with the feds. Then there's the issue of whether the boycott is even constitutional at all.

The Times' editorial board may weigh in on the boycott in the next few days; for now, share your thoughts by taking our poll, posting a comment or doing both.

-- Paul Thornton

Photo: Los Angeles City Council member Ed Reyes is congratulated by union members after the City Council approved an economic boycott of Arizona on Wednesday. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

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