Immigration Crackdown Could Cost Ga.

May 9, 2011  |  

(AJC) — Georgia tourism and convention boosters are scrambling to prevent the state from suffering the same economic impacts that Arizona felt last year after enacting the nation’s toughest immigration enforcement law.  As Gov. Nathan Deal prepares to sign into law a similar immigration measure, House Bill 87, tourism officials here are employing a series of strategies. They’re pointing out the differences between Arizona’s law and the Georgia legislation, highlighting Atlanta’s civil rights history and emphasizing how cancellations could hurt tens of thousands of metro area workers.  Their biggest concern is the series of cancellations that struck Arizona soon after Gov. Jan. Brewer signed that state’s hotly contested law.  In all, the Grand Canyon State has lost about 40 conventions amid economic boycotts inspired by its crackdown on illegal immigration, according to the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association. One estimate says the lost bookings have cost Arizona $141 million.

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