In response to the news that Arizona will not pursue a state constitutional ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” – which do not actually exist in Arizona – the following is a statement from Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
This is a significant victory for the immigrant movement and Latino communities throughout Arizona. They organized and beat back the ugly attempt by Arizona Republicans to stoke anti-immigrant sentiment for transparently political purposes.
A decade ago, Arizona Republicans went all in on SB 1070 and did significant damage to the state’s economy and national reputation. Thanks to the organizing and courage of organizations such as LUCHA, Progress Now Arizona, and many other progressive leaders, the state business community and their allies, Republicans rightly understood that they needed to avoid a repeat this time around by tabling HB 2598 and the mirror bill in the state Senate.
Despite the short-term victory, however, we can expect more of these efforts ahead of the 2020 elections in Arizona and across the country, as Republicans try to stoke division by scapegoating immigrants in order to distract voters from kitchen table issues.
This kind of bait and switch politics didn’t work well in Arizona in 2018. In the face of the state’s increasingly diverse electorate, and the organizing and mobilization on display this week, the ugly brand of anti-immigrant politics won’t work in Arizona in 2020 either.