Tucson Voters Reject Democrats' Plan to Be 'Sanctuary' City
The people have spoken: Citizens vote overwhelmingly against pro-illegal alien laws
The people of Tucson, Arizona have voted overwhelmingly to reject plans by the Democrat-controlled government to become a "sanctuary city."
The vote came after Arizona passed a law making it a requirement for local police to check the immigration status of people they suspect may be in the country illegally.
The Democrats who control the state’s second-largest city designated Tucson an “immigrant welcoming city” in 2012.
The designation forced the police department to adopt rules limiting when officers can ask about the immigration status of suspected illegal aliens.
Still not satisfied with the illegal immigrant "welcoming" status, Democratic officials wanted to "send a message" to President Donald Trump by casting a vote on becoming an official “sanctuary city,” adding further restrictions on police officers' ability to enforce immigration laws.
But on Tuesday, the people of Tuscon made their voices heard, with 71 percent voting against the city's plan.
According to News Thud, the incongruous result followed a contentious disagreement that divided progressives between those eager to stand up for illegal immigrants and against President Trump, and those who said the initiative would bring nothing more than unintended consequences.
“The city of Tucson, in all respects except being labeled as such, operates as a sanctuary city,” Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said in an interview before the vote.
The sanctuary initiative, he argued, would have tied the hands of police even on matters unrelated to immigration while inviting expensive retaliation from the Trump administration and Republicans in the state Legislature.
The Trump administration has fought sanctuary cities and tried to restrict their access to federal grants.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in June that the Trump administration could consider cities’ willingness to cooperate in immigration enforcement when doling out law enforcement money.
The ballot measure was pushed by activists who say they wanted to give a voice to Tucson’s Latino community.
They said it would have sent the message that illegal aliens are safe and protected in Tucson at a time when many are attempting to bypass US immigration laws and escape deportation.
“We have been failed by the city government here,” Zaira Livier, executive director of the People’s Defense Initiative, which organized the initiative, told supporters following the vote, according to KOLD-TV.
Tucson politicians say they stand with illegals, but when the going gets tough, they back down, she said.
“We are here to test you and to tell you that the bare minimum is no longer good enough and we expect better,” Livier said.
The initiative explicitly aimed to neuter a 2010 Arizona immigration law known as SB1070, which drew mass protests and a boycott of the state.
Courts threw out much of the law but upheld the requirement for officers to check immigration papers when they suspect someone is in the country illegally.
A handful of Republican state lawmakers have said they would pursue legislation to punish Tucson.
Prior legislation, approved by the GOP Legislature to crack down on liberal pro-illegal immigration cities, including Tucson, allows the state to cut off funding for cities that pass laws conflicting with Arizona laws.
Meanwhile, Tucson voters elected their first Latina mayor, Regina Romero.
Romero, who is on the city council, opposed the sanctuary city initiative, saying it’s unnecessary given Tucson’s welcoming attitude and policies toward immigrants.
“I am so proud and so humbled for tonight,” she said in a victory speech.
Thanking her family, she added, “No single person can make history on their own.”