The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group, has called off its boycott of Arizona and will no longer discourage meeting groups from convening in the Grand Canyon State.
La Raza announced the decision on Sept. 9 in a letter to the Real Arizona Coalition, a diverse collection of businesses, interfaith groups and community leadership organizations—including the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau—that had asked for the boycott to be lifted.
In its letter to the Real Arizona Coalition, La Raza stated:
“… We understand and appreciate the reasons why you believe the boycott should end. In that vein, we are also aware of the hardship it has imposed on many of the workers, businesses, and organizations whose interests we seek to advance. We are hopeful that the more respectful and civil tone that you and many others have worked so hard to establish in recent months will continue.
In that spirit, effective immediately, our three organizations will suspend the boycott and cease all efforts to discourage conventions or meetings in Arizona, or to discourage our partners from participating in such meetings. In addition, we will communicate our decision to our allies and partners who supported the boycott in the hope that they will join us.”
The letter was signed by Janet Murguía, President and CEO of National Council of La Raza; Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference of Civil and Human Rights; and Karen Narasaki, President and Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center.
The Greater Phoenix CVB issued this statement in response to La Raza’s decision:
"The lifting of the boycott is clearly a step in the right direction. It acknowledges that illegal immigration is not just an Arizona issue but a national one, and it makes it easier for our community to get back to the business of booking conventions."
La Raza has not issued a formal announcement to the media about the lifting of the boycott, but The Arizona Republic obtained a copy of the Washington-based group’s letter to the Real Arizona Coalition and reported the news on Sept. 10.