TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The effort to make Tucson the first sanctuary city in Arizona was overwhelmingly defeated by voters Tuesday.
The group pushed for stricter rules, which included preventing Tucson police officers from detaining people on the basis of immigration status. It would have also kept officers from assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, except in circumstances expressly required by law.
Tucson already identifies as an “Immigrant Welcoming City," but the PDI wanted to take one step more with worries the general orders could one day disappear.
“Most of us live and die by the rules that we take care of each other, that we shall not live in fear, that we shall not be separated. That we deserve to live and thrive, regardless of what we believe in. And that’s what we believe in," Zaira Livier, director of the People’s Defense Initiative, told supporters at the watch party for the initiative Tuesday night.
Livier said several city leaders did not “play fair” in the campaign.
Last month, the PDI named several city officials in a lawsuit for electioneering, claiming the officials used city resources to sway voters. A judge dismissed the lawsuit.
Livier said the PDI did not “lose," as the judge ruled strictly due to time. She said the group plans to appeal that decision and to continue to stand up for their effort.