On March 4, 2019, the Executive Committee of the Pima County Democratic Party (PCDP) passed a resolution in support of the Tucson Families Free and Together (TFFT) initiative. The initiative, when passed by the voters, will codify our city’s commitment to protect and defend the civil rights and safety of all people in Tucson by defining how and when police officers can make stops, determine one’s immigration status, and collaborate with federal immigration officials.
It is important to understand what TFFT does not do. TFFT is NOT an open borders policy. It does not provide a safe haven for criminals. TFFT cannot shield anyone from deportation by federal agencies. TFFT cannot prevent the federal government from enforcing immigration laws within the City of Tucson. TFFT simply sets boundaries and provides clarity regarding what constitutes suspicion that a person may be undocumented, and when local police can contact immigration authorities.
PCDP has heard concerns from Tucsonans regarding possible violations of SB1070 in the TFFT initiative. We believe the carefully-crafted language of the initiative overrides these concerns. And fears regarding losses of federal funds are unfounded; several courts have already decided that the administration in Washington cannot withhold funding from a city on this basis. Not a single city or county has lost federal funding during the past three years on account of pro-immigrant local policies.
When undocumented crime victims and witnesses are afraid to testify because ICE may take them into custody, criminals win. Cities are safer when ALL residents, regardless of their immigration status, feel empowered to cooperate with police.
This is the heart of the “sanctuary” concept, and why it has been successfully adopted by dozens of cities in the U.S.
Alison Jones, Chairperson
Pima County Democratic Party