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Tucson voters likely to rule on Sanctuary City status

Petitions submitted to put question on ballot
Posted at 6:59 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 21:59:09-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Should Tucson become a sanctuary city barred from helping with any sort of immigration enforcement?

Activists say they've collected more than enough signatures to put that question to a vote.

Advocates of a vote to force Tucson to become a sanctuary city brought the Tucson City Clerk more than 18 thousand signatures to put the issue on a November ballot. They have driven their effort through the organization, Families Free and Together.

The Sanctuary City Initiative would forbid Tucson Police from taking steps like asking someone about their immigration status or turning them over to Border Patrol or ICE.

Tucson Police already have policies written into their General Orders that limit police involvement in immigration enforcement but Zaira Livier, who leads the Sanctuary City initiative says they're not enough.

"We can say from the city that we that we will not allow Border Patrol, ICE and DHS to use our facilities. We can say that Border Patrol and ICE cannot pull people over when they are in the city limits."

Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin has warned city council if voters approve sanctuary city status its requirements risk breaking state law. You can read his opinion in full at this link and read Families Free and Together’s counter argument at this link.

Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik says, “I wish I could support this thing because CBP is in the news for all the wrong reasons but I can't."

Kozachik says barring any co-operation with Border Patrol would backfire and prevent situations like a recent case when the City called Border Patrol because a migrant in a shelter was molesting a 16 year old girl.

Kozachik says the Sanctuary City Initiative would stop co operation with almost any federal law enforcement.

"Not just Border Patrol, but the DEA the Secret Service, the US Marshals, the FBI, we deal with those agencies on a daily basis for things like rape processing kits and fingerprinting and those kinds of things. We use the US Marshals to track down a DUI guy who killed two people at Wilmot and Speedway last year we got him over in California."

But it looks like Tucson voters will get a chance to decide the issue. 18 thousand signatures is twice what is required to put the question on a ballot.