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Tucson voters overwhelmingly say no to sanctuary city proposition

(Facebook Photo/City of Tucson)

PHOENIX — Tucson voters have overwhemingly decided against a proposition that would have made it the state’s first sanctuary city.

About 71% of voters said no to Proposition 205, which would have put new restrictions on when police can inquire about immigration status or cooperate with federal law enforcement.

All 135 precincts were counted Tuesday evening, and about 82,000 citizens voted on the proposition.

The measure was divisive among progressives in a city where many were eager to send President Donald Trump a message but where others worried the move would only draw his ire without improving conditions for migrants.

It explicitly aimed to neuter a 2010 Arizona immigration law known as SB1070, which drew mass protests and a boycott of the state.

Tucson’s mayor and city council members, all of them Democrats, were opposed because they were concerned about unintended consequences and the potential for losing millions of dollars in state and federal funding.

They said Tucson police have already adopted rules that go as far as legally possible to restrict officers from enforcing federal immigration laws.

They added that trying to enact tougher limits would run afoul of SB1070 and other state laws, endangering the state funds that make up a massive chunk of Tucson’s city budget.

A handful of Republican state lawmakers said they would pursue legislation to punish Tucson.

Prior legislation approved by the GOP Legislature to tie the hands of liberal cities, including Tucson, allows the state to cut off funding for cities that pass laws conflicting with Arizona laws.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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