Arizona Legislature Prepares For Battle Over Sanctuary Cities

By Lauren Gilger, Steve Goldstein
Published: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 12:22pm
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 1:08pm

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Arizona Capitol building
Lauren Loftus/KJZZ
Arizona Capitol building in Phoenix.

Legislative sessions in Arizona are predictable in a few ways: There will be arguments over education funding, at least one seemingly popular bill will die without a hearing, someone will pick a fight with the cities and towns and it seems the 2020 legislative session will feature, in part, a battle over so-called sanctuary cities.

Lawmakers are already proposing bills to effectively prevent municipalities from establishing sanctuary policies or penalizing them for the consequences, all while Tucson prepares for a Nov. 5 vote on whether to formally declare itself a sanctuary city.

Along with that, a federal judge on Thursday ordered the Arizona Senate to reinstate former staffer Talonya Adams, who has also won financial awards from the courts for discrimination she argued she faced while previously employed at the Senate. Adams is to be welcomed back no later than Oct. 31.

To make sense of all of this, The Show reached out to Capitol veteran Jeremy Duda of the Arizona Mirror.

As efforts ramp up in Tucson to pass an initiative declaring it a sanctuary city for immigrants, there are other cities around the country that have declared themselves sanctuaries for different causes.

Cities and towns around the country have become sanctuaries for the unborn in opposition to abortion rights, others have become Second Amendment sanctuaries in support of gun rights.

John Finn is a professor emeritus of government at Wesleyan University and wrote about the constitutionality of sanctuary cities recently. The Show also spoke with him about the concept.

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