Council votes to send President message about immigration reform

Council votes to send President message about immigration reform

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As the immigration crisis continues to grow, residents in Tucson voiced their opinions about what to do with all the migrant children, the families, and the young people illegally crossing the United States border.

In Murietta, California the protests have been overwhelming with the "not in my backyard" sentiment. In Tucson, emotions appeared to be mixed at the council meeting.  While many residents spoke up passionately for and against the issue, city council was unanimous in their decision.

Council members passed a memorial urging the city to draft a message to the President and to congress.

According to the city council agenda it was:

"A Memorial relating to Immigration; declaring support for the protection of families and children; calling for action to suspend deportation of persons with no serious criminal history; and urging the Federal government to provide appropriate care and shelter for children being processed under federal immigration laws."

During a discussion before the vote, council members unanimously voted several amendments to be made to the memorial.  The amendments included urging the president to look into the economic development aspects of immigration.  Councilwoman Regina Romero said studies supported that it would be good for the U.S. economy.

Councilwoman Shirley Scott proposed an amendment to replace some of the language in the proposed Memorial and urge the President to stop splitting up families through deportations.

Council members also unanimously approved to send a separate letter to the Consulate of Guatemala to fund a position in Tucson to create a "liaison" to act as a go-between with the migrants.

The mayor will now draft two separate letters stating the City of Tucson's sentiments and position in relation to the immigration crisis, one will head to the White House, the other to the Consulate of Guatemala.

We were unable to get a copy of the amended Memorial as city staff were still working on the document, after the meeting.

Councilwoman Regina Romero spoke out during the meeting, saying, "Right now what we are seeing is consequences of not acting and fixing our immigration laws. We're asking Preside Obama to act and do everything he can to stop the tragedy and humanitarian crisis that is happening right now."

Several other concerned citizens spoke out during the Call to Audience.

Concerned citizen Laura Leighton said, "They have criminal records, they have forged documents.  That is considered fraud here in the U.S.  If you and I committed fraud we would be charged with a felony.  It is not a misdemeanor crime."

Concerned citizen Mary Lou Benigno said, "I try not to think about them as children.  Of course if one showed up at my door I would take care of them, but I think of it in terms of policy, and what are we trying to do here in America.  The president has already asked for money to fix this problem, and what are we going to do, keep writing checks?  This will turn us into a third world country."