PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Arizona's Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing testimony on a bill that would ask voters if so-called sanctuary cities should be unconstitutional here in the Grand Canyon State. If passed, SCR 1007 would put the issue on the ballot in November.
Debate over the bill got heated Thursday morning, forcing the hearing to go into recess. Security was called in to help calm things down. The proceeding resumed a short time later.
[WATCH: Security called in]
Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) is against the measure. "This bill is bigger and broader than prohibiting sanctuary cities or counties," the organization said. "Gov. Ducey and the sponsor of the bill are claiming that this bill will make us safer but what this bill will really do is to make it legal for our communities to be torn apart."
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In his State of the State address last month, Ducey called for lawmakers to approve a 2020 ballot measure asking voters to amend the state constitution to ban "sanctuary cities," which restrict cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Tucson voters in November rejected a sanctuary city initiative that would have further restricted the city's already limited cooperation on immigration enforcement.
"This is a nightmare scenario to have on the ballot in 2020, and it's coming in a coordinated attack from the White House," LUCHA spokesman Ricardo Zamudio said.
If SCR 1007 makes it to the ballot and if it's approved by voters, an amendment would be added to Arizona's Constitution that would prohibit, "restrictions on the enforcement of federal immigration law."
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