Saturday, May 15, 2010

'A day without a Mexican' boycott in Nogales leaves streets deserted

by Hugh Holub
Tucson Citizen

As part of efforts to protest Arizona’s new immigration law (SB 1070) a boycott of Arizona was organized for May 14th and 15th called “A Day Without a Mexican”. Mexicans were urged not to cross the border to shop in the US.

Not coincidentally May 14th was chosen for the protest, because that was the day all the Mexicans vanished from California in the movie “A Day Without a Mexican”.

No one is exactly sure who organized the “Day Without A Mexican” protest, but word spread around Nogales, Sonora like a viral epidemic, being picked up by the major Mexican radio news talk shows like Radio Xeny, urging Sonorans to not cross to shop. It apparently worked.

Morley Avenue which is a main shopping area for walk-over shoppers from Mexico was virtually deserted early Friday afternoon. Several stores had already closed. Most of the epople on the street were waiting for a 4 PM protest over SB 1070. At one point there were more media folks than Mexicans.

Shop keepers were worried that Saturday could be worse.

One store clerk commented ” If they want to boycott, then boycott those crazies up in Phoenix.”

Even the Nogales Wal Mart appeared to be impacted by the boycott. Normally over 50% of the cars in their parking lot have Sonoran plates. Friday afternoon the count was less than 10%.

The normal lines of people waiting to walk across the border or drive across were gone. On a usual day it can take an hour to walk across from Mexico, and up to 2 hours to drive across through the DeConcini Port of Entry.

[Note: I tried to take a picture through the port to show the empty lanes, and got jumped by several Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Apparently one cannot take a picture of the port of entry.]

See also:
Downtown "dead" as a result of boycott

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