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by Lisa Grimaldi | April 28, 2010

Following the passage last week of Arizona's new immigration law, the state's tourism and hospitality officials are worried the bill will have negative repercussions on its already weakened meetings and travel business. The law requires state and local police to determine the status of people if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are illegal immigrants and to arrest people who are unable to provide documentation proving they are in the country legally. According to a spokesperson for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, at least one convention -- the American Immigration Lawyers Association, scheduled to take place this fall -- has been canceled as a result of the legislation. A spokesperson for the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau told M&C, "The state's immigration legislation SB1070 wasn't crafted to have a negative affect on tourism, nor was our industry involved in its development, but we are definitely concerned that its recent passage will result in unintended, damaging consequences. To date we know of two meetings programs that have canceled as a result of the bill's passage." To prevent further damage, the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association, of which the GPCVB is a member, has released a statement outlining their concerns. The document can be viewed here.