The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer.
Ten years ago we were horrified as the anti-immigrant SB 1070 went into effect in Arizona making it legal to target people simply because they look “reasonably suspicious.” This law which has for the most part been thrown out has come to be known as the “Papers Please Law” and the “Driving While Brown Law.”
Fast forward a decade and we have a president who orders refugee children to be ripped out of the arms of their parents and put in cages. Recently, that same president reportedly called for a snake- and alligator-filled moat along our border with Mexico and suggested Border Patrol agents shoot border-crossers in the legs.
Now, as the citizens of Tucson consider becoming a “sanctuary city,” certain state legislators have threatened to punish the city by cutting off critical funding. How dare they!
Here’s what Proposition 205 will do:
• Allow people to feel safe in hospitals, clinics, courthouses and churches as these places would be off limits from immigration enforcement.
• Provide protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
• End racial profiling.
It’s time to dispel a couple of the myths surrounding Proposition 205:
Myth No. 1 — Concern that Tucson will lose federal dollars.
In separate lawsuits filed by the cities of Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and New York, as well as California and the National Conference of Mayors (of which Tucson is a member), several federal judges reached the same decision: It is unconstitutional to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities. So far, zero dollars have been withheld from these cities.
Myth No. 2 — Fear that Tucson will lose state shared income.
Proposition 205 was carefully written to specifically challenge the racist SB 1070 by limiting its impact without violating state law. Funding would only be withheld if the state could prove that the proposition violates SB 1070 in court. It’s important to remember that laws passed by citizen initiative have protection in the Arizona Constitution. SB 1487, the law that gives the state the ability to withhold funds, specifically refers to laws “adopted or taken by the governing body of a county, city or town … that violates state law,” not the voters.
It’s time to stop allowing Tucson to be bullied by state leaders following in the footsteps of former Governor Evan Mecham and Senator Russell Pearce who were ousted in shame.
Support Proposition 205 — it is the right thing to do.