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'Day without Mexicans' could be affecting Nogales business
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Immigration & SB 1070

'Day without Mexicans' could be affecting Nogales business

Normally busy Friday nearly devoid of border traffic

A "Day Without Mexicans" boycott of Arizona by Mexican consumers seems to be having an impact at the Nogales border crossing, which has had almost no traffic Friday, according to a Sonoran newspaper.

El Imparcial reported Friday afternoon that the Dennis DeConcini port of entry had barely 15 cars crossing at once, compared with the hundreds that usually wait in line at any given time.

The boycott is a protest of Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, SB 1070.

Meanwhile, a demonstration against SB 1070 is beginning Friday afternoon on both sides of the border in Nogales.

Opponents of Arizona's new immigration law are starting to gather on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border for a "peaceful demonstration against the harsh immigration law and for peaceful bi-national relationships," Gustavo Lozano, president of local organization Fronteras Desiguales (Unequal Borders) said Friday.

El Imparcial's website offers a live view of what has been, for most of the day, an almost empty crossing.

The Chamber of Commerce in Hermosillo, Son., called for "A Day Without Mexicans" encouraging consumers to buy in Sonora and not in Arizona.

"We don't want to exaggerate and say we will not step a foot in the United States again, because we want to have an economical relationship ahead which benefits Sonora, we want to have a dialogue, but our position is firm for a day without Mexicans in Arizona," said Gustavo Claussen Iberri in Spanish on the chamber of commerce's website.

The Chamber of Commerce in Nogales, Son. could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon, but the Nogales International reported officials from the chamber of commerce there did not encourage the boycott in order to prevent harm to merchants in Nogales, Ariz.

The anti-1070 rallies will start at 4 p.m. on both sides of the border, at the Karam Park on Morley Avenue in Nogales, Ariz., and the other at Plaza de Banderas in Nogales, Sonora, Lozano said.

"We are not gathering to promote a boycott, we have nothing to do with the boycott because we don't want to hurt businesses in Nogales, Arizona, but we want to let our governor and state's Republicans know that we oppose the new law and the abuse from federal immigration agents," he said.

Lozano's organization, together with Kino Border Innitiative and Border Action Network, planned the rallies to ask for the repeal of SB1070 before it takes effect, and to ask for "respectful treatment of everybody at the ports of entry," Lozano said.

As of 3:30 p.m. Friday hundreds were gathering at the Arizona side of the rally and Lozano expected at least 400 demonstrators to show up.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not return a phone call but El Imparcial reported that Mexican authorities were on standby along the Mexican side of the border and had reported no incidents.

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