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Guest opinion

Fimbres: Tucson long a 'welcoming' city

What your community has stood for

My office has received calls and emails from people expressing their concern and fears over the recent actions and event coming from our nation's capitol.

I am glad to remind our citizens that their city has been on the forefront of protecting civil rights of all citizens, regardless of race, color, national origin, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Tucson has been one of the leaders in Arizona and in the nation. On Feb. 7, 1977, the Tucson City Council passed an anti-discrimination ordinance prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation and religion.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, we will be celebrating 40-year anniversary of the passage of the ordinance and supporting human rights, which included, the first city to give funding to AIDS service organizations in 1991, expanding the benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of city employees, recognizing same-sex families with discounts at city facilities, and creating the first domestic partner registry in Arizona in 2003.

Since then, Tucson has also: Declared support for the Dream Act; endorsed the Arizona Accord, a declaration of 5 principles to guide immigration discussion; supporting comprehensive immigration reform; proclaiming Tucson an "Immigrant Welcoming City;" supporting for the protection of all families and children; calling for action to suspend deportation of persons with no serious criminal history; urging the federal government to provide appropriate care and shelter for children being processed under federal immigration laws; condemning Violence and hate speech and expressing solidarity with all persons targeted for the ethnicity, race or religion and condemning any effort to establish a registry of any class of people.

Tucson was also the first city to challenge SB 1070 in court.

Through mayor and Council direction, the city of Tucson's immigration policies are part of the Tucson Police Department's general orders. The city of Tucson has made its policies quite clear. TPD is committed to protecting and preserving the civil, constitutional and human rights of all residents and visitors of the city. TPD prohibits racial profiling in all circumstances.

The chief's General Orders expressly state that victims and witnesses of crime will not be the focus of immigration status inquiries. Tucson is defined by our actions, and not by someone else's label. Tucson is a "Welcoming Community," which embraces all its citizens and works to protect everyone's rights.

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson.

When we see challenges, we don't scapegoat, point fingers and place blame on others. We just roll up our sleeves and solve the challenge before us. This mayor and Council works hard to improve the quality of life for all of its citizens.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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