I’m not going to Arizona until this law is repealed, not that it matters much. We had planned to visit relatives there, but that trip has been put on hold. What a ridiculous and crazy situation!
Backers of the ethnic cleansing law in Arizona claim that nationwide calls for boycotts of Arizona won’t amount to much. Maybe they will, or maybe they won’t, but this won’t be so easy to laugh off.
The Mexican government warned its citizens Tuesday to use extreme caution if visiting Arizona because of a tough new law that requires all immigrants and visitors to carry U.S.-issued documents or risk arrest.
Why should this worry Arizona? Because Arizona is heavily dependent (PDF) on the tourism industry. From the state’s tourism board 2008 annual report (the last year they have available):
The total (direct and secondary) impact of the Arizona travel industry in 2008 was 310,000 jobs and $10.2 billion earnings.
Of that amount, Mexico is a huge percentage (PDF).
The results of this study, as in the past, demonstrate the economic importance of Mexican visitor spending to Arizona’s economy. Close to 23,400 wage and salary jobs in Arizona at eating and drinking establishments, retail establishments and other spending-related sectors are directly attributable to Mexican visitor spending. Through local purchases of supplies by businesses and the spending of income derived from visitor-related jobs, these visitors generated almost 7,000 additional jobs in Arizona in 2007-08. These jobs account for a total income of $837.24 million and $3.61 billion in sales.
That’s over 30,000 jobs in the tourism trade alone, that Arizona xenophobes have put at serious risk.
It gets worse. Those doubting the success of any domestic boycott should note this:
With Arizona’s international visitorship decimated, the state now must rely on domestic visitors — many of which come from liberal California, where cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are seeking official boycotts of the state. Late Tuesday, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), leader of the California State Senate, also proposed a statewide boycott of Arizona.
Indeed, according to a 2008 report on domestic visitors (PDF) by the office of tourism, 34 percent of all visitors to Arizona came from California. The next largest contributor, Texas, lagged far behind at 5 percent. Liberal Washington, New York and Illinois constitute another 11 percent of the total.
[Click to continue reading Daily Kos: Arizona's looming tourism disaster]
I’d encourage any business that has contracts with Arizona residents to reconsider. The boycott of South Africa over their racist policies took a few years to bring down apartheid, but it was ultimately successful. Bigots of Arizona take note.