First 2011 Convention in Arizona, Will a Protest Follow?

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The well known California comic dealer Jimmy Jay has announced  the first comic book convention of 2011, scheduled for January 8 and 9 in Mesda, Arizona.  Guests so far include Rob Liefeld, Jeph Loeb, Robert Kirkman, Jon Layman, Mike Choi, Sonia Oback, Cory Walker and  Ryan Otterly.

Arizona is at the center of a firestorm over a recent piece of legislation that requires police to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop and suspect is in the country illegally. It also makes it a state crime to lack proper immigration papers.  The legislation has already been modified since it was signed into legislation.  The law now requires scrutiny only of people who police stop, detain or arrest. They also changed a section of the bill that barred officers from “solely” using race as grounds for suspecting someone is in the country illegally

Some have called this law racist and is nothing but racial profiling.  Opponents feel the changes made won’t make any difference and have filed at least three federal lawsuits, with more to follow.  The legislation has led to numerous protests and calls for boycotts of the state.

Crime has been cited as a reason for the legislation, but crime is actually down along the border, negating this argument.  Some police enforcement have stated that the legislation will lead to more crime as immigrants will be afraid to report crime committed against them or be less willing to cooperate.

The Justice Department has drafted a legal challenge to the law citing that it impinges on the Federal Government’s authority to police the national borders.  L.A. County officials have called for a boycott.

Will this controversy come to the comics industry with calls for industry talent and companies to not attend and boycott?

We’ve reached out to the convention for an interview and comment and will update this article when and if one is received.