A boycott against any state in this time where consumer spending is 70% of the economy is dangerous, but that’s especially so for Arizona, a tourist destination, with landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Sedona and the like. So this snowballing boycott threat will be very tough for the state to take, if it in fact occurs.

A spreading call for an economic boycott of Arizona after its adoption of a tough immigration law that opponents consider racially discriminatory worried business leaders on Monday and angered the governor.

Several immigrant advocates and civil rights groups, joined by members of the San Francisco government, said the state should pay economic consequences for the new law, which gives the police broad power to detain people they reasonably suspect are illegal immigrants and arrest them on state charges if they do not have legal status […]

La Opinión, the nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper, urged a boycott in an editorial Monday, as did the Rev. Al Sharpton, and calls for such action spread to social media sites. The San Francisco city attorney and members of the Board of Supervisors said they would propose that the city not do business with the state.

Anecdotally in the article, businesses are seeing people vow not to return to the state.

The defenders of this law cite the lack of federal action forcing them to take matters into their own hands. So I’m sure they’ll rescind their law in the event of a comprehensive federal reform, I guess.

Now Washington insiders keep running their mouth about how immigration reform cannot pass and the recent effort is driven by politics. I would argue it’s driven by unjust, unconstitutional laws like this, and that’s as good a reason as any to push for a solution, regardless of Lindsey Graham’s complaints about the ordering.

Meanwhile, the greatest defenders of this craziness are the “limited government” types who waive those principles for those with brown skin.

What would Arizona’s revered libertarian icon, Barry Goldwater, say about a law that requires the police to demand proof of legal residency from any person with whom they have made “any lawful contact” and about whom they have “reasonable suspicion” that “the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States?” Wasn’t the system of internal passports one of the most distasteful features of life in the Soviet Union and apartheid-era South Africa?

UPDATE: This whole business is apparently really hurting Gov. Jan Brewer, the stand-in Republican for Janet Napolitano who signed the law. Democrat Terry Goddard is killing her in a hypothetical matchup among Hispanics, according to a forthcoming Public Policy Polling survey, 71-25. This is better than Obama did in 2008.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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