On July 3, 2019, proponents of an initiative to make Tucson the first sanctuary city in Arizona submitted 18,155 unverified signatures to election officials. They needed to collect 9,241 valid signatures by July 5, 2019, to qualify the initiative for the November general election ballot.
Submitted signatures must now be verified by election officials. The initiative would include a declaration of the city’s sanctuary status and add a new section that includes provisions:
- restricting law enforcement officers from actions to determine a person’s immigration status under certain conditions,
- prohibiting officers from contacting federal law enforcement agencies to determine a person’s immigration status, and
- prohibiting city employees from inquiring about a person’s immigration status, among other policies.
People’s Defense Initiative (also referred to as Tuscon Families Free and Together) sponsored the petition drive for the initiative.
Ballotpedia’s August 2017 review of municipal immigration policies found that 32 cities among the nation’s 100 largest by population self-identified as sanctuary cities or maintained sanctuary policies. As of 2017, 30 of the 32 cities identified as sanctuary jurisdictions had Democratic mayors.