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SEIU Arizona Boycott: Labor Group Will Avoid State After Immigration Law

First Posted: 07/06/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:25 PM ET

Immigration Protest

The Service Employees International Union -- one of the country's largest -- is boycotting Arizona in response to the state's controversial new immigration law, the group announced Thursday.

"[T]he 2.2 million-member union will boycott conventions and meetings in Arizona in an effort to denounce the extremist, anti-immigrant law "SB1070," SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina said in a release.

"By issuing an extensive boycott of meetings and conventions in Arizona, we are sending a clear message that working families want serious solutions to our immigration problems--not frivolous policies that undermine public safety, waste millions of taxpayer funds, and imperil our most basic civil rights," Medina continued. "On behalf of working families and the more than 8 million residents of Arizona, we will not back down until the Arizona state legislature, the courts or the Federal Government invalidates this dangerous and discriminatory law."

SEIU adds itself to a growing list of unions and cities that are refusing to do business with Arizona in protest of immigration bill SB 1070.

The tourism industry is a vital staple for the Arizonan economy, and some hotel owners and other elements of the industry have already expressed concern about the prospect of their businesses taking a big hit due to the recently-passed new law.

According to the release, SEIU also plans to step up efforts to encourage lawmakers in Washington to take up comprehensive immigration reform.

"As we stand against intolerance in Arizona, SEIU is simultaneously stepping on the gas to make sure that Congress and the White House respond to the vast majority of Americans who want a serious, comprehensive immigration solution now," Medina said.

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Filed by Nick Wing  |