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McSally says initiative would make Tucson ‘sanctuary for criminals’

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona is the latest to come out against an initiative that would make Tucson the state’s first “sanctuary city.”

McSally told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Monday that she was “disturbed” by the initiative, which was approved last week for Tucson’s November ballot.

“I am totally against it,” McSally said. “I mean, this basically means it would be a sanctuary for criminals. That’s what sanctuary cities mean.”

Opponents of the initiative, like McSally, have argued that Tucson would become less safe as a sanctuary city.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus wrote in an op-ed Sunday in the Arizona Daily Star that he did not approve of the initiative and warned of potential consequences if it is passed.

The initiative aims to add protections for people living in the U.S. illegally, including preventing Tucson police from asking about immigration status and prohibiting certain cooperation between city and federal agencies.

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told Mac & Gaydos last week she also was against the initiative, and said she would do everything in her power to stop it if she were governor.

The Pima County Republican Party filed a lawsuit Friday to try to keep the “sanctuary city” initiative off the November ballot.

McSally, who said she has owned a home in Tucson since 1994, added she does not believe Arizona should have sanctuary cities.

“It may end up on the ballot, so it’s more about making sure people are educated about it who are residents and voting in this election this year,” McSally said. “I just really hope this is opposed strongly and it fails.”

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