The state of Alabama’s controversial immigration laws have caused a medical association to cancel its 2012 convention in Mobile, for fear that some of may be harassed if they attend.
Recently, Mobile’s Press-Register reported that the Association of Departments of Family Medicine had planned to book 500 to 600 rooms at The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa, at a cost of about $100,000.
The convention was expected to bring in about $700,000 worth of business to Mobile according to an estimate from the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The state’s harsh immigration law bars undocumented immigrants from seeking work, calls for public schools to obtain residency information from news students, and allows local law enforcement officials to enforce immigration laws.
According to a University of Alabama analysis, the benefits of the law, also known as HB 56, are overshadowed by the negative economic impact on the state. In all, the analysis predicts a reduction of statewide output by $11 billion.
Supporter of HB 56, Sen. Rusty Glover (R-Mobile), said he and other supporters had not considered the loss of convention visitors as a possible outcome of the law, saying they focused on the potential benefits of the law when passing it.