Arizona immigration law: boycotts starting to take a toll
Boycotts from Mexico and several US cities aren't likely to throw Arizona back into a recession, but the fallout from the Arizona immigration law is hurting some businesses in the short term.
At the Adobe Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast just two blocks from the University of Arizona, the phone calls from potential visitors have all but stopped, and innkeeper Jim Hook suspects he knows the reason: the state's controversial immigration law.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The scene at the US/Mexico border
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The law, which requires local and state authorities to determine the status of suspects they believe to be in the country illegally, has spawned economic boycotts and legal challenges since Gov. Jan Brewer signed it in April, and those boycotts appear to be having an effect.
So many meetings and conventions are being canceled that the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association has stopped keeping track. The streets of Nogales, Ariz., often filled with Mexican shoppers, were so empty during a recent boycott that stores closed early. And Mr. Hook of the Adobe Rose knows of at least one family that canceled its reservations because of the law – taking a trip to Boston instead.
In the long term, such boycotts "tend to essentially blow over, either because the issue was settled or people just forget about it," says Elliott Pollack, president of Elliott D. Pollack & Co., a real estate and economic consulting firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“In other words, the effect will be in the near term,” says Mr. Pollack.
But with the state only now recovering from one of the most severe recessions in its history, those near-term impacts are being felt.
“This is just another burden,” says Hook, noting that one cancellation for his six-room inn is a major hit. “Small businesses are going to suffer the most.”