They had been planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, but decided to cancel the trip once Arizona passed a law that made illegal immigration a crime and required police to check the status of immigrants believed to be in the country illegally. (A federal judge has since temporarily blocked the police requirement until it can be studied further).
Garwood wrote a letter to the Arizona hotel where the family planned to stay and explained why they were canceling. She shared the letter with me and also explained to me the reasoning behind her decision.
Why cancel your trip?
We decided to change our vacation plans because once I heard about SB1070, I was afraid for members of my family and brought it up for a vote one night at dinner. Although we are all U.S. citizens, there are members of my family with darker skin and anyone who looks into SB1070 can tell that it could be easily abused and most likely would be abused. Why go to a place where there was any chance of being harassed simply based on our looks?
Why write a letter?
We decided to go elsewhere and make a point that we were specifically boycotting the state so I wrote a letter to notify the resort that we would not be coming for a week of vacation. Boycotts don't do any good unless you let the target know why people aren't buying something. We realize Arizona has some serious and legitimate issues to deal with, but SB1070 is not a well thought-out law and not the solution.
How does the recent decision by a federal judge to temporarily block some of the more controversial parts of the law impact your plans?
The judge's decision hasn't changed our minds because the injunction only puts a hold on some aspects of the law; it doesn't suspend the law completely or guarantee that the abusive parts would not return. Also, the wide support of the law in Arizona makes Arizona look like a place not welcoming or accepting of diversity or those who may look different, so why go there when there are other great areas in America to visit?
May 29, 2010
Hyatt Pinon Pointe
1 North Highway 89A
To Facility Manager,
My family had been planning a ‘Grand Canyon vacation’ since December 2009. After some research, we knew we wanted to stay in Sedona because of its beautiful landscape and convenience to many activities in the area.
I started searching Sedona facilities because we have a family of five (5) made up of two adults and three (3) teen-agers – so we needed plenty of space. I had sent an email to my husband saying that I had found the perfect location – the Hyatt Pinon Pointe resort.
I looked up the email and this is what I had written, “There was one place that stood out as having everything we might want to be comfortable with three teen-agers and I've copied in the link below. It has two bedrooms with plenty of beds/sofabeds, it has a kitchenette, washer/dryer, pool, great view and near tour companies. Going thru a pkg. it was around $#,### for five, but doing it on my own and getting a better flight for us would be $#,### - not a whole lot more. This figure includes round trip for five, 7 nights in the resort and a mid-size car for a week. We would have to add on food and tours. “
Then I included link and the question, ‘Make reservations?’ But as I was in the process of doing all this, I was also reading about the Arizona legislation SB1070. I understand the complexity of the situation and the issues the state faces in trying to combat crime, especially by those who cross the border without papers. I understand that this nation faces some real problems that require some real solutions, but I believe SB1070 is a short-sighted and basically racist piece of legislation that can only lead to more problems.
Our family was ready to spend several thousand dollars in your state this month, much of it at your facility, but we cannot in good conscience support a state with such legislation. I do regret it is your business that has to suffer, but money talks and if enough people who feel like I do at least let the businesses know why they are not coming this summer, maybe the businesses will contact their elected officials to report the negative results and demand change.
I realize you are probably very busy at this moment with guests, but I wonder how many others would have come to Arizona and your facility, but just haven’t taken the time to write and let you know that they are not coming. Boycotts are more effective when the business/state you are boycotting is made aware of the fact that you are boycotting so this is my official notice that we had made up our minds and had really wanted to vacation in Sedona, AZ this summer, but cannot do so with a good conscience and so are boycotting the state and by extension – your business.
Thank you. May SB1070 be repealed and a more just and fair solution be found soon so those of us who want to visit your great state can do so without hesitation.