Nation’s Restaurant News reports thet Arizona’s strict anti-illegal immigration legislation that was signed into law last month has provoked a growing number of boycotts and concerns among hospitality operators in the state.
The city council of Oakland, Calif., voted unanimously this week for a boycott, urging city officials not to contract or buy goods with companies with headquarters in Arizona and barring city officials from traveling to Arizona on official business. Similar measures were being considering in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
And within Arizona itself, city councils in Flagstaff and Tucson voted to sue the state over the new law, expressing concern over the impact on tourism and enforcement costs. Tourism brings about $12 billion each year and employs more than 250,000 people in Arizona.
Arizona’s law requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if they have reason to suspect they are illegally in the country.
The Arizona Restaurant Association expressed concern about the impact of the law on the state’s reputation and called on federal lawmakers to revisit the nation’s immigration laws.
“Immigration legislation signed into law recently has once again placed Arizona front and center in the immigration debate and brought with it state boycotts, national criticism of our state leaders and negative media attention,” the association said in a statement. “While this attention is to be expected, we should also expect our leaders in the United States Congress in tandem with other federal officials to bring about fundamental reform to our immigration laws, which haven’t occurred in over two decades.”
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association in Atlanta, which said its members own about 40 percent of the 1,100 lodging properties in Arizona, on Tuesday urged business and leisure travelers to continue visiting the state.
“A boycott of Arizona will harm the lodging industry and the employees who depend on traveling guests for their next paychecks, but it will not solve any immigration problems,” said Tarun S. Patel, chairman of the AAHOA.
Read more: Nation’s Restaurant News