Frontera Fund News Trump Watch

Tucson and Pima County Officially Condemn Border Wall

Photo: Carmen Cornejo for Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.
Photo: Carmen Cornejo for Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

On June 6, Arizona’s Pima County Board of Supervisors and the Tucson City Council joined a growing resistance against President Trump’s “offensive and damaging symbol of fear and division.”

First, the Pima board passed a resolution formally denouncing the border wall and calling for a thorough investigation into its cost and necessity. It was the first action of its kind in Arizona. 

Later that day, the Tucson City Council unanimously passed a similar resolution. But its language went further, expressing “intent to identify all companies involved with the designing, building, or financing of the border wall, and its intent to divest, as soon as practicable, from those companies.” 

“When there is irreparable harm to our environment, irreparable harm to communities by building a wall, then we have to make sure we practice what we preach, and we don’t invest, or divest in companies that choose to profit from the pain and suffering of human beings,” said Tucson City Council member Regina Romero, author of the resolution.

We do not yet know which companies those might be. Hundreds of businesses bid for border wall construction contracts earlier this year. But the Trump administration has not yet released a list of those that were given contracts.

Southern Arizona stands in solidarity and unified against the border wall policies and against the militarization and criminalization of immigrant families. – Councilwoman Regina Romero

In addition, the city council’s resolution “opposes the continuing expenditure of federal funding directed to private, for-profit prisons for the detention and incarceration of immigrants, together with any efforts to expand the criminalization and detention of immigrants that results in increased profits to private prisons.”

“Southern Arizona stands in solidarity and unified against the border wall policies and against the militarization and criminalization of immigrant families,” Romero announced.

Also on June 6, the Pima board passed a resolution to defy Trump by supporting the Paris Accord and living up to its climate change-fighting standards. As expected, both the border wall and climate change resolutions passed with three Democrats voting for them and two Republicans voting against them. 

Republican supervisors Ally Miller and Steve Christy – who both represent wealthier parts of Tucson – said the border wall resolution was pointless and overreaching. “I don’t think our border is militarized enough,” Miller added. She said the expanded wall would protect against drugs and terrorism, despite the fact that there is as much evidence for that statement as there is for the Easter Bunny.

Somewhat similar to executive orders, these resolutions express intent and aren’t fully legally binding. But the city and county hope to send a strident message to Congress that the people and places most impacted by the proposed border wall expansion do not want their communities and land further destroyed and militarized.

“We’re pleased and grateful that our local elected leaders have denounced Trump’s destructive border plans,” said Randy Serraglio of the Center for Biological Diversity, which, as we have reported before, is suing the federal government over the border wall. “Let their message ring out – don’t destroy our beautiful border region and terrorize its people in our name.”