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Hearing scheduled in effort to block Tucson's Sanctuary City initiative

Posted at 5:59 AM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 20:49:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon in an effort to block a measure that could make Tucson a sanctuary city.

The Tucson City Council voted last week to allow the initiative to be on the November ballot after it got more than the minimum required number of petition signatures. More than 12,400 signatures were certified by the Pima County Recorder's office. That is roughly 3,100 more than the minimum required to qualify for the ballot.

Councilmembers were required to vote but Councilman Steve Kozochik tells KGUN9 no one on the council, including the mayor supports the initiative.

The initiative aims to add protections for people living in the U.S. illegally, including preventing Tucson police from asking about immigration status and prohibiting certain cooperation between city and federal agencies.

The "sanctuary city" initiative is currently the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Pima County Republican Party in July. The suit is challenging individual signatures and whether paid signature gatherers filled out the forms correctly. It also argues the minimum number of necessary signatures was too low.

Others opposing the initiative include the three Democrats running to be Tucson's next mayor. The candidates said sanctuary status could create more problems such as the state Legislature eliminating millions of dollars in annual state-shared revenue as punishment.

There are no Republicans in the mayoral race.