In a vote Wednesday, the Tucson City Council chose to oppose proposed Arizona legislation seeking to include a ban on “sanctuary cities” in the state constitution.
They argue the pair of initiatives serve only to energize the Republican base. Senate Concurrent Resolution 1007 and House Concurrent Resolution 2036 seek to incorporate language into the state constitution ensuring local cooperation with federal law enforcement.
However, Arizona already has a ban against sanctuary cities on the books. As a result of SB 1070, the state barred local jurisdictions to counter federal immigration enforcement measures. That bill passed in 2011, during the Obama presidency.
Now, President Trump’s platform includes immigration as a top concern. The focus proves politically effective, riling his base. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero believes the recent pushes in Arizona to fight against the concept of sanctuary cities are politically motivated. With SB 1070 already in effect, there is “zero need” for the inclusion of a ballot measure, Romero said in a statement.
Rather, the GOP can use the issue to rally support and drive their base to the polls.
Police departments in Arizona have adopted policies counteracting some federal immigration enforcement. For example, the Tucson Police Department implemented policy refusing to use immigration status as a reason for traffic stops. Their policy also prohibits asking crime victims for immigration status when they seek help from law enforcement.
Many argue the federal policies subject Latinx communities to excessive and abrasive interrogation that amounts to systemic racism.
Tucson PD still reports to federal authorities when they encounter an individual lacking citizenship documentation. They merely refuse to use their authority to hunt for individuals lacking papers in situations entirely unrelated.
Still, the GOP led state legislature forges ahead with their ballot proposal. Last week, the Senate resolution passed out of committee. A hearing for the House resolution is scheduled for Friday.