Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Just Back From Arizona, Doubts Wisdom of Boycott

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Richard Bui
Jeff Adachi hasn't jumped on the boycott bandwagon
San Francisco politicians' push to boycott Arizona following the Grand Canyon State's adoption of a harsh new immigration policy popped a lot of flashbulbs, and earned a lot of ink. But now some city leaders are questioning the wisdom of this broad-brush approach

One of them is public defender Jeff Adachi, who just happened to be in Arizona lecturing at Arizona State University when State Bill 1070 was enacted last week. He was surrounded by angry and scared people looking for answers and support -- and he doesn't feel boycotting the state will do either of those things.

"The problem with a boycott is you might not be impacting whoever it is you want to boycott," he said. "If you're trying to send a message to the whole state, you've done that and made your headlines. But, beyond that, are you punishing the people who support this law and rewarding and supporting those who oppose it? Shouldn't that be the point?"

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Adachi also worried that a boycott could go both ways -- as numerous enraged conservatives have communicated to any human, answering machine, or message board they could find.

San Francisco's proposed boycott of the Grand Canyon State is "kind of like saying you're not coming to San Francisco if we pass the sit-lie law," said the public defender. "People have different feelings about that law here. A boycott is not necessarily going to affect a change. And even if it did, you wouldn't know it."



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