Cities Threaten to Boycott Arizona

Linda Ronstadt
Singer and activist Linda Ronstadt, center, who is an Arizona resident, attends news conference where it was announced that The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, with the support of several other activist groups, had filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction preventing authorities from enforcing the new Arizona immigration law at the Arizona Capitol Thursday, April 29, 2010, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo
Six days after Arizona gained notice and notoriety with the toughest anti-immigration law in the country, protests are building, opposing sides are hardening, and outside pressure is mounting. On Thursday, opponents turned on a little star power as Mexican-American singer, Linda Ronstadt, spoke out.

"The dirty little secret is I'm probably not the one that would be pulled over because I'm light skinned," Ronstadt said.

She endorsed the first of what's likely to be a flurry of opposition lawsuits.

"We will be devoting our collective resources to making sure this bill will not take effect," said Alessandra Soler Meetze with the ACLU.

The controversial law requires police in Arizona to demand proof of citizenship of anyone they suspect is in the U.S. illegally, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker. It takes effect this summer, but many citizens say it's having a chilling effect already.

As CBS News tried to speak with one immigration rights worker, a car pulled up and shouted "Why don't you go back to Mexico, man?"

"That's what this law is causing," said Salvador Reza, a community activist. "It's causing the division and bringing out the worst - the worst in people."

Citing crime rates and the cost of social services, the mayor of Costa Mesa, Calif. and legislators in Ohio and Texas say they're pushing for Arizona-style immigration laws.

"The citizens are sick and tired of political correctness," said Debbie Riddle, a State Representative in Texas. "They want to take their country back."

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But many more cities are lining up in opposition. Dozens are threatening to cut all business ties with Arizona. Already at least eight conventions have pulled out of Phoenix in protest. The city could lose up to $45,000 on each.

"I work in the hotel business and I know for a fact there are several cancelations already in the pipe for several hotels in Arizona," said Jeff Franklin, a hotel worker.

Arizona has gone through this kind of economic pressure before. In 1987, when the state refused to observe the national Martin Luther King Holiday, there was a national boycott - the Super Bowl pulled out of Tempe. It all cost the state $300 million.

Then, Arizona backed down. This time, supporters of the law say they're hanging tough because of this: just yesterday Border Patrol picked up 105 immigrants trying to enter the country near Tucson, illegally.