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Tucson Voters Reject Proposition 205 Sanctuary City Initiative

Tucson voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 205 on Tuesday.

The initiative would have made Tucson Arizona’s first sanctuary city, adding protections for undocumented immigrants.

A small group gathered at a bar on Tucson’s south side as the vote tallies came in. It was an upbeat crowd but by shortly after 8 p.m. and with most precincts reporting, more than 70% of Tucson’s voters had rejected the plan to make this city a sanctuary for immigrants.

"What I can say is that unlike them we knocked on almost 40,000 doors. We spoke to over 55,000 voters and we spoke to them almost three times," said Zaira Livier of the People’s Defense Initiative. "We beat every single goal that we had."

It had been an uphill battle from the beginning. The organization only raised about $19,000. Tucson’s Democratic lawmakers, including the mayor, chief of police and Tucson City Council members, had balked at the plan. Opponents said it went too far in restricting police officers, endangering public safety and the city's budget.

Proponents said the measure would have sent the message that immigrants are safe and protected in Tucson at a time when many are fearful of President Donald Trump's immigration policies. 

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Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.