Rep. Raul Grijalva closes Tucson office after death threats

The Arizona Democrat had called for a boycott of the state over its harsh new immigration law

Published April 23, 2010 7:24PM (EDT)

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., closed down his Tucson and Yuma district offices Friday afternoon, after a man called the Tucson office twice threatening to "come in there and blow everybody's head off," and then go to the U.S.-Mexico border to "shoot any Mexicans that try to come across," an aide says.

Grijalva, the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, had been very critical of Arizona's harsh new immigration law, which would require law enforcement authorities to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect isn't in the country legally. That could, needless to say, lead to significant racial profiling and harassment in Arizona, where 30 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin. Grijalva called for conventions to boycott Arizona until the law is defeated or, if signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, overturned. (UPDATE: Brewer signed the bill into law Friday afternoon.)

"Just as professional athletes refused to recognize Arizona until it recognized Martin Luther King Jr., we are calling on organizations not to schedule conventions and conferences in Arizona until it recognizes civil rights and the meaning of due process," he said Thursday.

So the calls Friday morning left staffers feeling uncomfortable, spokesman Adam Sarvana said. The offices were closed as a precaution, and are set to open Monday as planned. The FBI is investigating the threats.


By Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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