STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Bret Roberts (R-11) today announced that he will be introducing legislation to strengthen the law against sanctuary cities in Arizona and hold sanctuary cities civilly liable for any harm done by illegal immigrants that are released into the community.
Sanctuary cities are illegal in Arizona, and the penalty for violating the law can range from between $1,000 and $5,000 for every day a city violates the law.
Tucson residents will vote on an initiative in November to officially designate Tucson as a sanctuary city and prohibit city law enforcement from checking immigration status, as required by state law.
“Because one city’s decision to ignore immigration laws could have public safety and fiscal implications for the entire state, there needs to be not only consequences for sanctuary cities in Arizona but also a clear recourse for citizens to seek restitution,” said Representative Roberts. “If its voters decide to make Tucson a sanctuary city, they should be responsible for those costs.”
“Opponents of Tucson’s sanctuary city initiative, both Republicans and Democrats, have pointed to the considerable federal penalties for ignoring immigration laws, which could cost the city millions of dollars every year in federal grants,” said Representative Mark Finchem (R-11). “The penalties at the state level for violating the law need to be just as strong or stronger, and I support Representative Robert’s efforts.”
“The current penalties for sanctuary cities in Arizona don’t reflect the true impact they would have on our state’s education, healthcare, and criminal justice systems,” said Senator Leach (R-11). “In addition to jeopardizing millions of dollars of federal grants and paying for eventual litigation that would result if Tucson decides to declare itself a sanctuary city, stronger state penalties are needed to ensure that taxpayers around the state don’t have to pay for one city’s ill-advised decision. I applaud Representative Roberts for his plans to introduce legislation strengthening our law against sanctuary cities.”
Representatives Roberts is still in the process of drafting the legislation, and details have not yet been finalized.