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Los Angeles could end Arizona travel ban, enacted as result of SB1070

(Flickr/Karen)

PHOENIX — Arizona is still feeling the effects of a controversial immigration bill that was signed into law nearly a decade ago.

Senate Bill 1070, also known as the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, was signed into law by former Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010.

It required law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants during a lawful stop, detention or arrest and made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to be in Arizona without carrying their required documents.

Critics of the bill said it encouraged racial profiling, while supporters argued that the law prohibited the use of race as the “sole basis” for investigating immigration status.

While the law was modified by a House bill — Arizona House Bill 2162 — which stated that “prosecutors would not investigate complaints based on race, color or national origin,” it still caused protests in more than 70 cities across the country and calls for boycotts of Arizona.

Los Angeles was one of the cities that followed through on its boycott of the state. In 2010, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban city employees from traveling to Arizona on business and urged departments to avoid doing business with Arizona firms.

But the city could soon roll back those restrictions, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles council members recommended ending the boycott at a committee meeting last week.

The move came nearly two years after the state announced that it would end its practice of “requiring police officers to demand the papers of people suspected of being in the country illegally” as part of a settlement with the National Immigration Law Center and other immigrants’ rights groups.

There was no debate over the move at the committee meeting, according to the publication, but Council President Herb Wesson, who heads the committee, said in a statement after that “court rulings on its major provisions effectively annulled the law.”

“Under the advice of our city’s immigrant advocate, we saw no further reason for keeping the boycott,” Wesson added.

Some Los Angeles lawmakers, including Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, voiced skepticism of the city’s ban. The council reportedly loosened the rules previously to “allow travel to Arizona for meetings and training and to keep buying Arizona products.”

“If you’re going to do a protest action like that, you have to be very serious about it,” Harris-Dawson said. “The city just hasn’t done that.”

The decision will now go in front of the entire council for approval. The next city council meeting is on Tuesday, but discussing the travel ban was not on the agenda.

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