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Tucson City Attorney says sanctuary city petition conflicts with law

Posted at 4:51 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 18:51:15-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Tucson City Attorney is citing problems with a petition circulating the city.

The "Tucson Families Free and Together" petition would create a ballot initiative that could make Tucson a sanctuary city -- a nonlegal term describing cities, counties or even states where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities' attempts to enforce immigration law.

Now, an eight-page memo from the city attorney to the city council and mayor says there are a number of legal issues with the initiative.

Most notably, City Attorney Mike Rankin says the petition violates several aspects of SB 1070 -- a controversial Arizona law passed in 2010. The law requires state officers to determine a subject's immigration status during a lawful stop, detention, or arrest if they have "reasonable suspicion" the subject might not be a citizen.

The petition, Rankin's memo says, would establish new articles of the Tucson Code that directly conflict with SB 1070, prohibiting officers from attempting to determine a subject's immigration status.

Click here to read the city attorney's full memo.