Arizona’s strict, new immigration laws may hurt the travel and tourism industries in the Grand Canyon state as companies, civil rights activists, cities, and states boycott Arizona in response to its new laws. Arizona’s new immigration law authorizes authorities to stop anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant and demand to see proof of citizenship on the spot. Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus, Ohio is one of the most recent politicians to ban state-funded travel to Arizona. His decision is based upon his disapproval of racial profiling. Other cities that have boycotted travel to the state of Arizona include Seattle, WA; San Diego, CA; Los Angeles, CA and St. Paul, MN.
David Krietor, the deputy city manager of Phoenix, AZ has expressed his belief that the boycotts could cause his city to lose over $90 million over the next 5 years. Factors contributing to these losses include a decrease in conventions taking place in Phoenix, Arizona as well as a reduction in tourism. These fears are not insubstantial. In the 1990’s, when the Arizona refused to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday, it lost the bid for the 1993 Super Bowl. Despite these fears, proponents of Arizona’s new immigration law in other states will most likely not be discouraged from visiting Arizona’s natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and the Saguaro National Forest.