County to vote on 'immigrant welcoming' resolution - Tucson News Now

County to vote on 'immigrant welcoming' resolution

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

For more than a year a resolution calling Pima County an "immigrant welcoming county" sat on the Chair's desk without being brought to a vote.

Recently, the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a new chair, District III Democrat Sharon Bronson.

The resolution was dusted off and is now scheduled for a vote next week.

"The discussion on the board has changed substantially over the years," says Richard Elias, a District V Democrat and the only one of three supervisors who agreed to an on-camera interview.

Both Bronson and District I Republican Ally Miller declined.

The vote will come less than two years after the city of Tucson voted 6 to 1 to become an "immigrant welcoming city."

"The City of Tucson remains a diverse and welcoming community," Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said at the time. "I want to assure tourists and business people and those visiting our state we are a beautiful, welcoming city."

Even so, the city resolution was passed during a rancorous time not long after it was revealed SB 1070, the controversial immigration law passed by state lawmakers and signed by Governor Jan Brewer in 2010, was having a negative economic impact on Southern Arizona.

It also followed a new state law prohibiting cities and towns from being "sanctuary" cities.

The county resolution may seem a bit late to the game but some feel it needs to be passed.

The resolution never mentions SB 1070 but talks about commerce, trade and being neighborly.

It also highlights the economic impact Mexican trade has on the county's economy.

It says 400,000 people and 15,000 containers cross the border legally and an estimated six million American jobs rely on Mexican trade.

But it seems to some the time has come to pass it or at least talk about it.

"I think the dialogue regarding immigrants in our community has changed a lot in the past four or five years," Elias says. "And we're realized the economic plus the immigrants are in our community."

Whether a majority of the board agrees with that, will be known following the vote on Tuesday.

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