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The Associated Press July 29, 2010, 10:26AM ET

Arizona congressman reverses stance on boycott

The Arizona congressman who called for convention and other visitor boycotts of Arizona to protest its immigration enforcement law now says national groups should return their meetings to the state because a judge has put key parts of the law on hold.

"This is an important moment for the nation to pause and take a deep breath," Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Tucson, said after Judge Susan Bolton issued her ruling Wednesday.

Returning conventions and conferences to the state would "help us change the political and economic climate," Grijalva added.

Within days of the law being signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April, Grijalva called for a convention and meeting boycott of the state, saying it would help prod legislators to realize passage of the law was a mistake.

Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said Wednesday that Grijalva's boycott call hurt Arizona, particularly its hospitality industry workers, and that he's not impressed by Grijalva's reversal.

"The position that he has now is the one he should have had in the first place. I don't think anyone from Arizona, especially a congressman, should take a stand against Arizona," Broome said.

Fallout from calls to boycott Arizona mainly has been felt in conventions and conferences, Broome said.

"It's easy for a professional association who is making a convention decision to take a pass on Arizona because you don't want to be caught in between on this issue," he said.

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