Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a letter threatening to hurt Arizona’s economy through boycotting, in response to their new immigration law and in so doing has so opened up a shouting match.
Los Angeles officials voted 13-1 last Wednesday to end about $8 million in contracts with Arizona. Officials in
Arizona shot back, saying, “If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so that Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation.” Los Angeles currently receives about 25% of it’s power from Arizona plants.
“If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los
Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.”
Villaraigosa issued a statement in which he declined to take up Pierce’s challenge directly.
“The Mayor stands strongly behind the city council on this issue and will not respond to threats from a state which has isolated itself from the America that values freedom, liberty and basic civil rights.”
Arizona responded, “If you’re going to divest yourself, divest yourself all the way. So swallow deep, mayor and city council, and do it. Or back off and let’s be friends again.”
The law, criticized by President Obama and many others as being too harsh, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, reports the New York Times.