Immigrants in need welcome in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Immigrants in need welcome in Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

On August 7, 2012, the city of Tucson voted 6-1 to become a "welcoming city" to immigrants.

"Were all immigrants on some level in this country," says Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. "This helps a lot of people in our community."

By supporting Resolution 21944. according to Ward 1 council member Regina Romero, it establishes "a city that values the contributions of all residents, regardless of background."

The informational portal is hosted by the City of Tucson's website and will direct immigrants to the service they need or ask for, like health care, legal help, help with English classes, even babysitting.

But the site never makes a distinction between legal or illegal, resident or not.

"The site is open to anyone," says Liana Perez, who designed the webpage. Perez in the Independent Police Auditor for the city.

"If you click  on any of the resources, it basically takes you to another resource," she says.

The appearance it gives is neutral because "all we're doing is gathering information and making sure it's legitimate," she says.

Perez also says the site must meet city standards and not make it appear to be a promotion or an advertisement.

"We can't seem to be promoting someone's business," she says.

SB 1070 prohibited sanctuary cities in Arizona and was described in many publications as the "anti-sanctuary city bill."

Arizona was one of four sanctuary cities in the state, including Phoenix, that could no longer, by definition give sanctuary to anyone whose legal status would be in question.

"SB 1070 hurt our city economically. It hurt our reputation," the mayor says. "We've spent a lot of time trying to repair that damage."

So Tucson became a welcoming city by resolution, not ordinance, which does not, it appears,  violate any laws.

The mayor doesn't believe this is pushing the edge of the envelope "but it's something we can do."

But he admits this site for immigrants is a "reaction to SB 1070."

"It's a recognition that this is not who we are," he says. "We are an immigrant welcoming community."

While there have been a few complaints, the mayor says the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

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