League of Resident Theatres Denounces Arizona Immigration Bill

News   League of Resident Theatres Denounces Arizona Immigration Bill
The League of Resident Theatres, which represents 76 professional regional theatres across the U.S., has issued a letter to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer condemning the controversial immigration bill passed in that state in late April.

Senate Bill 1070, signed into law by Brewer April 23, provides law enforcement the ability to request immigration papers from any individual without cause who they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally. Critics and civil rights watchdogs claim the law will encourage racial profiling, though Brewer and the state legislature later signed an amendment that specifically banned such actions.

In its letter to Brewer, LORT states, "In light of the recent passing of SB1070, the LORT membership convened to discuss a response to the abhorrent bill that you recently signed into law."

According to the letter, LORT members would have ideally cancelled their annual meeting, which was held May 5-7 in Tucson, AZ. (LORT has held their national meeting there for the past three years). However, due to the proximity of the bill's signing and the LORT meeting, canceling the event at such a late notice would have left member theatre, the Arizona Theatre Company, finanically liable for the contract they signed with a Tucson resort.

Instead, LORT instructed its members staying beyond the meeting to cancel any additional weekend reservations in Arizona and to curb ancillary spending. LORT also states it will not hold its meetings in the state as long as SB1070 is in place.

The bill is not expected to take effect until August, and appeals are planned, however, LORT is not the first to propose boycotting Arizona tourism. The city of Los Angeles also voted in favor of a bill that suspended al city-related travel to Arizona and seeks to nullify many business contracts with the state. President Obama also characterized the bill as "misguided," however, recent polls showed that a majority of Americans were in favor of SB1070.

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