A local group has filed paperwork this week to formally oppose Proposition 205, the sanctuary city ballot initiative Tucson voters will decide in November.
Citizens for a Safe & Prosperous Tucson filed political action committee on Monday with the city. It lists Arizona Congressional District 2 Republican candidate Joseph "J.D." Morgan as its chairman.
The initiative, the Tucson Families Free & Together measure, seeks to make Tucson the Arizona's first sanctuary city.
Morgan says opposition to the proposition should be a nonpartisan issue.
"Many people supporting this extremely awful proposal are unwittingly supporting increased security problems for our community and decreased economic benefit," Morgan said. "We simply can't afford either!"
Citizens for a Safe & Prosperous Tucson say the measure would benefit criminals.
"Sanctuary policies invite and protect criminals, often largely to the detriment of our legal immigrant population. Anyone who says otherwise is playing fast-and-loose with data, to promote their agenda," the group stated in a news release.
A spokesperson for the Tucson Families Free & Together initiative didn't respond to a request for comment about the new group. Backers have repeatedly rejected accusations that the citizen-led effort will make Tucson less safe or negatively affect the local economy.
Initiative supporters say it puts the force of law behind many guidelines already in place in Tucson that guide circumstances under which police officers can ask about immigration status.
The initiative would also add protections for some victims of crime and prohibit certain collaborations between the city and federal agencies, among other provisions.
The committee will rely on volunteers for canvassing neighborhoods as well as for phone banks, said Karen Schutte, the PAC's treasurer.
The political action committee is not required to file campaign finance reports until mid-October.
As of mid-August, supporters of the sanctuary city initiative reported $3,156 in spending on the measure, though the figure will likely be much higher in the scheduled October filing.