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  • Writer's pictureArizona House Democrats

Representatives Sandoval and Austin letter to NCAA on AZ policy

March 21, 2024

Mr. Charlie Baker

President of the NCAA

700 W. Washington Street

Indianapolis, IN 46202

On April 6-8, the Valley of the Sun will once again host the NCAA Men's Final Four, a

point of pride for our state and a showcase to the world of the state we all love. When

your organization selected Arizona as its 2024 location, you chose a welcoming state

with a growing economy where communities have worked hard to put a dark history of

bigotry, discrimination, and racial profiling in the rearview mirror when major portions of

2010's controversial Senate Bill 1070 were set aside as unconstitutional. Hispanics now

make up a third of our state, and our economic buying power has doubled in our

economy since 2015 to nearly $50 billion a year.

But, as the games near tip-off, that reputation, that positive economic trajectory, and

most importantly, our rights as Latinos and people of color in this state are once again

at risk.

On March 4, Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed Senate Bill 1231, an unconstitutional

measure that would have legalized and encouraged racial profiling by police and divided

our communities and our state along the same lines as Senate Bill 1070 just over a

decade ago. That bill cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to our

economy, especially to our agricultural and tourism industries. We hope that you would

agree with the Governor's decision and would agree that locating a tournament or a

convention in a state where residents can be targeted and detained because of the

color of their skin is a tacit endorsement of that policy. If you remember, Arizona lost out

on the 1993 Super Bowl because a bigoted previous Governor rescinded a holiday for

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and we did not host our first Super Bowl until 1996 after

voters spoke up and passed our current King holiday.

The Governor's veto was a welcome development, but Arizona's business community

and economy faces another pending threat. First, Republicans have threatened to

continue passing the same bill until the Governor relents, and if she doesn’t, they will

take the measure to the 2024 Arizona ballot. Additionally, House Concurrent Resolution

2060, a profoundly discriminatory and anti-business companion measure that could also

end up on the 2024 statewide ballot, would burden Arizona businesses of all sizes with

extensive new requirements to use E-Verify for subcontractors, to obtain business

licenses and to obtain public services. This measure has cleared the House, and if

passed by the Senate and approved by voters, it would duplicate other effective

measures that bar undocumented Arizona residents from obtaining services and would

overlay confusing and costly new burdens on businesses.

We do not need another measure that damages our reputation, spreads fear, and

divides our state while increasing costs for businesses and prices for consumers. What

we do need is your voice. We urge you to speak out against this legislation by joining

more than 100 diverse business leaders who have publicly objected. And we encourage

you to make future location decisions accordingly.

Immigration policy is a federal responsibility. States cannot and should not have

patchwork immigration laws. Join us in opposing HCR 2060 and in demanding

Congress and the Administration to set aside partisan differences and get to work

passing a negotiated bill to send out border states like ours the resources we need

immediately to handle this ongoing humanitarian crisis.

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