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Lawmaker calls for baseball boycott

Peter M. Rivera

Peter M. Rivera

The fallout from Arizona’s proposed immigration law has reached the baseball diamond.

In a letter to New York Yankees’ President Randy Lewis Levine and New York Mets’ President Saul B. Katz, Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera, D-76th, told the executives Major League Baseball should not host the 2011 All Star Game in Phoenix.

Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 has been the subject fierce debate and many groups, especially those involved with Latino causes, say the proposed legislation will lead to racial profiling.

The bill would allow police to ask suspects for immigration documents and jail those who can’t produce them. Opponents also say the bill supersedes federal authority while proponents turn that argument on its head, saying SB 1070 would pave the way for national immigration policy reform.

Rivera, who is a former New York City police officer and DEA agent, wrote: “Boycotts have been announced and a few brave players have declared their intentions not to participate in the 2011 All Star Game to be played in Arizona. But there are some influential voices missing from the call for Arizona to repeal SB 1070, mainly the voices of the New York Yankees and New York Mets.”

Rivera, who was born in Puerto Rico and has represented his Bronx district for 18 years, went on to note ACLU’s lawsuit to block the bill, which he called “an attack on the civil and human rights of 40 percent of the Arizona population which is Latino and Native American.”

Rivera said more than 670 Major League Baseball players are Latino and that five other states are considering similar legislation, which he called “anti-immigrant” and a “dangerous situation.”