Conference on Immigrant Rights.

Last month, I held a press conference on immigrant rights. I was joined by Tucson Vice Mayor Regina Romero, Tucson Deputy Chief of Police Chad Kasmar, and Lynn Marcus, Co-Director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the James E. Rogers College of Law.

Our purpose was twofold:
1) to reassure our immigrant community that the City of Tucson is committed to protecting the rights and well-being of all our residents; and
2) to make our immigrant community aware of the many resources available to them.

At the press conference, I reminded everyone that we’ve been down this road before, with SB 1070. The City of Tucson challenged that unconstitutional state law in the courts, and won. Most of the law—not all, but most—was overturned. If, in the future, we’re faced with unconstitutional federal law, I have no doubt that we will challenge it in the courts. There are limits to federal power and, if necessary, we will litigate to enforce those limits.

We went over some of the help that’s available to the immigrant community in Tucson. The Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Arizona ( worked with my office, the Ward 1 City Council Office and the City Manager’s Office to produce a guide for immigrant families in English ( and Spanish (

Tucson’s Deputy Chief of Police restated his department’s policy of not asking crime victims or witnesses about their immigration status.

And I reminded people of my citizenship campaign, which offers educational and financial help for legal permanent residents who are eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens. Information is on my website,

The term sanctuary city has been tossed around—by those who want to wear it as a badge of honor and by those who want to use it to demonize cities as unlawful.

This term has no definition and is being used to inflame passions on both sides. That’s an approach I reject.

Tucson is an immigrant welcoming city. Tucson is a city of laws, and the most fundamental of those laws are civil liberties and human rights. We will protect those liberties and rights for all our residents and visitors, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, national origin, orientation, race, religion, or status—not because it’s politically correct, but because standing up for civil liberties and human rights is standing up for American values. It’s standing up for the Constitution and the vision of the Founding Fathers. The term for that is not political correctness. The term for that is patriotism.