Posted: Aug 3, 2010 5:05 PM
Updated: Aug 3, 2010 6:33 PM
TUCSON - Last week, after a federal judge struck down most of Arizona's immigration law SB 1070, Congressman Raul Grijalva called off his call for conventions to boycott the state.
Grijalva isn't sorry he launched the boycott. He says, "We had to bring national attention to 1070. This had national implications."
But he admits the boycott didn't do all he hoped for. He hoped economic sanctions would pressure Arizona politicians to rewrite the law.
Now he says, "I've come to the conclusion and others have too that no amount of economic pressure is going to change an ideological position that the leadership in the legislature has and the governor has."
Grijalva also says the boycott has hurt tourist industry workers.
"After meeting and talking to them it became obvious that was happening," he says.
The head of Arizona's Hotel and Lodging Association is calling on Grijalva to help reverse the damage.
Brian Johnson, the manager of Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, says, "I think you have a duty to reverse with a great energy what you have caused and get in there and make it right."
Johnson asks Grijalva to do what Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is doing to bring conventions back.
Johnson says, "She's actually reached out to the groups or the CEOs or the presidents and called them and sent them letters."
Johnson says many groups book conventions years in advance. So he worries the boycott's damage could be longterm.
Grijalva hopes now that the boycott is over, that people on both sides of 1070 will come to the table to talk about national immigration reform.
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