The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer.
For decades, Chicanos Por La Causa has been the spark plug of advocacy on education, housing, economic development and wellness, particularly for Chicanos, Mexican Americans, Central Americans, and indigenous peoples right here in our southern border region. A 50-year-old Arizona nonprofit with expanded immigration services in Tucson, CPLC continues to support feasible efforts to improve the lives and legal status of immigrants, including DACA recipients.
Equally long is CPLC’s legacy of standing up and pushing back against injustice — as leader of the 1970 Chicano education “walkouts”; to 2010 petitioner in the first major hearing challenging the infamous Arizona SB 1070 “anti-immigrant law”; to just months ago as a plaintiff at the Supreme Court against having a citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 census — Chicanos Por La Causa has been on the front line fighting for the communities we serve.
After careful consideration of Proposition 205, it is apparent the local initiative, however well-intentioned, is susceptible to a myriad of unintended consequences. This proposal is poorly drafted and set to ultimately harm more than it will help Tucson, including the very individuals the proposed legislation seeks to assist.
The people affected most by these attempted fixes are much more interested in practical solutions than what comes from political positioning or posturing.
Under this proposed legislation our economy will suffer, which hurts everyone. The local initiative would also jeopardize state and federal funds, which likely would be withheld in response as jurisdictional authority comes into play. Costly and distracting litigation would follow, detouring and delaying possible avenues for immigration reform at virtually every level.
Trust and confidence between law enforcement and residents will suffer and this initiative will not aid in protecting the most vulnerable members of our community in any measurable form. It is abundantly clear Proposition 205 is not the silver bullet proponents claim. On the contrary, the overreaching initiative provides hardliners with additional ammunition to attack any and all efforts for immigration progress across Arizona.
CPLC appreciates the strength and safety afforded by longstanding local migrant-friendly methods, and believes the best approach for addressing difficult immigration challenges is for elected officials, community leaders, law enforcement, nonprofits, and religious groups to continue working collaboratively across multiple fronts for improved public policy. Proposition 205 would be counterproductive of such efforts by only furthering partisan division and political polarization.
The risk is too great for our migrants and our community, especially in light of a looming recession. Proposition 205 is not the answer; it only would create more problems.
CPLC remains steadfast in its widely recognized support of immigrants who are seeking a better life.
“Porque nuestra causa es buena, nunca nos cansamos de luchar!”