Mark Kelly

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Mark Kelly blasted an initiative to make Tucson a "sanctuary city," saying that he will not vote for the measure.

"(I'm) strongly against this, I'm not going to vote for it," Kelly said Tuesday, "I think it's a mistake."

In November, voters will decide whether Tucson declares itself Arizona's first "sanctuary city," which limits local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration agents.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

Kelly, a former Navy fighter pilot and astronaut, said cities and states should follow federal laws.

"This is contrary to that so I'm not in favor of that. I think it's also detrimental to the City of Tucson in that it could impact some federal funding it receives," he said.

In criticizing the measure, Kelly finds himself in agreement with his likely political opponent next year, Republican Sen. Martha McSally.

[RELATED: Kelly outraises McSally in Arizona Senate race]

On Monday, McSally told KTAR News that she was "disturbed" by the ballot measure.

"I mean, this basically means it would be a sanctuary for criminals. That’s what sanctuary cities mean," she told the radio station.

Kelly also sided with McSally and distanced himself from a number of Democratic presidential candidates who said they would extend healthcare coverage to undocumented immigrants.

'We're having a hard time providing good healthcare for all Americans," Kelly said, "providing free healthcare coverage for folks who are here illegally, I'm just against that."

Last month, every Democrat on stage for the second debate raised their hand after they were asked if they would give immigrants living here illegally access to coverage.

Kelly also disagreed with the more progressive candidates in the presidential field who want to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings.

"I am not in favor of decriminalizing that it makes border security more difficult," he said.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

A spokeswoman for McSally told Arizona's Family that the Senator opposes giving healthcare coverage to undocumented immigrants and decriminalizing border illegal border crossings.

Kelly did agree with Democrats who characterized a series of tweets by President Trump as racist.

Last week the president attacked four minority congresswomen by saying they should go back the countries they came from. All four women are U.S. citizens

"I think they were racist I think they were wrong it shouldn't happen," he said.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you