Media Contact

Marcela Taracena, media@acluaz.org; 602-773-6004

September 24, 2019

 

PHOENIX—The ACLU of Arizona announced today its endorsement of Proposition 205: Tucson Families Free & Together, an initiative that protects Tucson residents by keeping the Tucson Police Department (TPD) out of the business of civil immigration enforcement. Prop 205 aims to improve public safety by ensuring that crime victims cooperate with police and that passengers, patients, and community members aren’t subject to illegal harassment, questioning, and detentions related to their immigration status.

“Arizona has a deep-seated problem with racial profiling,” said Alessandra Soler, executive director for the ACLU of Arizona. “It is a problem that plagues every law enforcement agency in this state, including the TPD, and a problem that has been exacerbated by SB 1070—an unlawful, immoral law that continues to funnel people into Trump’s deportation pipeline.”

“We are proud to stand with Tucsonans in support of this initiative which will strengthen the civil rights of all people and help realize our vision for a just and inclusive state where the rights of every resident are respected,” continued Soler. “This is a historic opportunity for Tucson. The city can send a message to the rest of the state, and the nation, that they welcome and support immigrants—and reject xenophobic policies that violate people’s constitutional rights.”

If passed, Prop 205 would:

  • prohibit Tucson police officers from making assumptions about a person’s immigration status based on certain characteristics including whether they speak English or how they are dressed;
  • prohibit Tucson police officers from asking individuals about immigration status in hospitals, houses of worship, and courthouses;
  • prohibit Tucson police officers from asking most vehicle passengers about their immigration status; and
  • prohibit Tucson police officers from asking victims of certain crimes and domestic abuse about their immigration status.

Prop 205 would also protect thousands of immigrants from potential immigration checks each year by clarifying that officers are required to release a person immediately when they are “cited and released” for minor, non-violent offenses, regardless of whether the officer has determined the person’s immigration status.

If passed by voters on November 5, 2019, Tucson would join hundreds of other localities that have adopted similar laws that prioritize community concerns over federal immigration enforcement.

For over a decade, the ACLU of Arizona has fought back against hateful policies that harm immigrant communities across the state. The ACLU of Arizona challenged Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s practice of racially profiling and unlawfully detaining Latinx residents and litigated the unconstitutionality of SB 1070. The organization successfully pushed for policy changes within the City of Phoenix and South Tucson that limited enforcement of SB 1070.

In 2016, the ACLU of Arizona demanded immediate changes to the Tucson Police Department after an investigation revealed officers continued to question and detain individuals based on race, ethnicity, inability to speak English, and perceived immigration status.

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