TUCSON (3TV/CBS 5) – A grassroots human rights group wants Tucson to be Arizona’s first sanctuary city.
“We envision a Tucson that serves as a safe refuge for all people regardless of their immigration status, race, color, age, gender identity, ethnicity, ability to speak English, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status,” according to the organization’s website.
The group needs 9,000 valid signatures to get its measure on the ballot. The deadline is July 5.
While Tucson has been an “immigrant welcoming city” since 2012, PDO would like to see the City take the next step – not just welcoming immigrants but actively protecting them.
“Whether called ‘sanctuary’ or some other term, this ordinance takes bold steps to ensure that our city actively prevents community members from being split apart from their families, their livelihoods, and their Tucson community simply because they lack proper papers,” PDI explains on the FAQ page it has put together for those wanting more information about its Tucson Families Free and Together initiative.
The bill involves amendments to the Tucson City Code that specifically lay out what local police and City employees cannot to do in terms of detaining people based on their immigration status or working with federal authorities unless “expressly required under state and federal law.”
Here’s how PDI explains its proposal on its web site:
“With this initiative we are proposing amendments to the Tucson Code, Chapter 17, to: (1) prohibit city police officers and other city employees from detaining persons on the basis of a person’s immigration status and from assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, except in circumstances expressly required under state and federal law; (2) prohibit certain collaborations between city agencies and federal law enforcement agencies; (3) provide for certification of certain visas for immigrant crime victims; and (4) provide for minimum record keeping and protocols for certain communications between city employees and federal law enforcement agencies.”
PDI is hosting a kickoff event Saturday at The Historic Y, 738 N. Fifth Ave.
Nearly two years ago, the Phoenix City Council rejected a petition to make Phoenix a sanctuary city.
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