Dave Gibson

January 25, 2012

On Monday, Arizona state Sen. Steve Gallardo (D-Phoenix) introduced a bill to repeal that state’s crackdown legislation on illegal immigration, known as SB1070.

Gallardo’s measure (SB1218), if passed, would eliminate all provisions contained in SB1070, including the current requirement placed on local and state law enforcement officers to investigate a suspect’s immigration status.

SB1218 has 16 primary sponsors and eight co-sponsors…all Democrats.

Why does Sen. Gallardo’s want to repeal SB1070?

Gallardo recently explained to Cronkite News: “It has had a huge impact on the economy, on tourism…It has put a black cloud over the state of Arizona that it’s going to take years for us to get out from underneath.”

While Gallardo is right about the bill which was sponsored by former state Senator Russell Pearce (R-Mesa) having a “huge impact” on tourism…it has actually been a very positive one.

In September 2011, the National Council of La Raza announced that they were ending their boycott of Arizona which began in May 2010, shortly after Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB1070 into law.

La Raza claimed ended the boycott because their efforts in discouraging other states from passing similar legislation were successful.

This, despite the fact that other states (Georgia, Alabama, Utah, South Carolina and Indiana) have passed similar laws on illegal immigration, while many others are simply waiting to see the Supreme Court’s final ruling on Arizona’s SB1070 before they pass their own measures.

The real reason La Raza dropped their boycott is simple… it did not work.

In fact, after the boycott was announced, tourism in Arizona began to thrive, despite the sluggish economy.

According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, the number of visitors who came to the state and stayed overnight increased by 4.5 percent in 2010 over the previous year, generating $17.7 billion in direct spending across the state.

That trend continued in 2011 as well.

For the five months of 2011, Arizona hotels reported an occupancy rate of 62.9 percent, compared with 59.9 percent for the same period in 2010 and 57.2 percent in 2009.

Much to La Raza’s and Sen. Gallardo’s dismay, it would appear that there are far more people who want to see our laws upheld, as opposed to those who would like to borders become meaningless and our country become a place where the rule of law means nothing.

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