After Arizona passed a law that required local police to check the immigration status of people suspected to be in the country illegally, the state's second-largest city wanted to send a message. The Democrats who control Tucson designated their town an "immigrant welcoming city" in 2012, and the police department adopted rules limiting when officers can ask about the immigration status of people they encounter. But on Tuesday, given the chance to push the envelope further, the heavily Democratic city voted overwhelmingly not to become an official "sanctuary city" with more restrictions on how and when police officers can enforce immigration laws, the AP reports.
The incongruous result followed a contentious disagreement that divided progressives between those eager to stand up for immigrants and against President Trump, and those who said the initiative would bring nothing more than unintended consequences. "The city of Tucson, in all respects except being labeled as such, operates as a sanctuary city," Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said before the vote. The sanctuary initiative, he argued, would have tied the hands of police even on matters unrelated to immigration while inviting expensive retaliation from the Trump administration and Republicans in the state legislature. Tucson voters also elected their first Latina mayor Tuesday. Regina Romero, who is on the city council, opposed the sanctuary city initiative.
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