Tucson voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly opposed Proposition 205, which would have given the city the state’s only “Sanctuary City” status.
The measure failed with 71 percent of voters in opposition.
Tucson’s Democratic mayor and city council members, Pima County Sheriff, and Tucson police officials opposed the measure, arguing it formalized an already existing informal reality. They said it potentially risked public safety and threatened millions of federal and state funding the city relies on while already unofficially acting as a sanctuary city.
The Tucson Police Department has already adopted rules that restrict officers from enforcing federal immigration laws, and the City Council designated Tucson an "immigrant welcoming city” in 2012.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says, "The city of Tucson, in all respects, except being labeled as such, operates as a sanctuary city.”
Of 260,959 registered voters, 87,305 voted in the election, or 33 percent.
Tucson Families Free and Together spearheaded the ballot initiative, arguing Tucson citizens "have both the right and absolute responsibility to defend and protect the most vulnerable members."
Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward tweeted after the vote, “Even liberals in Tucson know that Sanctuary City status is bad for American citizens and American cities...”
Located about 70 miles north of the Mexican border, Tucson houses one of the busiest Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) sectors in the country. The CBP Tucson Sector covers most of the state of Arizona from the New Mexico State line to the Yuma County line, totaling 262 border miles. There are roughly 4,200 agents manning eight stations in this sector.
In July, CBP reported a total of 3,530 arrests of individual illegal immigrants with criminal convictions for fiscal year 2019 (October 1, 2018–June 30, 2019), including 2,246 arrests of illegal entry and re-entry.