It’s hard to believe that Arizona legislators and Governor Jan Brewer couldn’t see a mass boycott coming when they made a strengthened immigration policy law this week, after all the state faced a similar effort in 1987 after trying to keep Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from being a state holiday.
But hoteliers and convention hall owners are already reporting that events and vacation plans have been cancelled, notably including a meeting of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Scottsdale, reports the Associated Press. They join a number of politicians on both sides of the aisle who have called the new legislation misguided, or worse.
There are two major developments of note to travelers considering a trip to Arizona. The first is the fact that rates are likely to be low as hotels scramble to make up for lost revenue, as will many tourism companies such as those around the Grand Canyon.
Of the 38 million visitors who contributed more than $18 billion to Arizona’s economy in 2008, roughly 1 in 10 were from Mexico, reports Bnet. They and many others face the prospect of being stopped for consideration as an illegal immigrant. Law enforcement is required to verify the immigration status of anyone who they have reasonable belief could be in the country illegally.
In addition to the outrage expressed by many, the terms of enforcement could make Arizona a less attractive place to visit for some who may worry about the potential for confrontations with police. Many in the Arizona tourism industry are now calling for changes to be made.
[Image: Arizona Department of Commerce]