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Phoenix city council rejects bid to become 'sanctuary city'
February 16, 2017 05:20

PHOENIX - The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday rejected a bid to declare the large southwestern US municipality a "sanctuary city" despite vocal cries to protect undocumented immigrants.

By a 7-2 vote, council members turned down a citizen's petition requesting the nation's sixth largest city declare itself a sanctuary city and limit their assistance to federal immigration authorities.

The council's decision comes just weeks after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that directed the US government to withhold money from cities that have adopted sanctuary policies toward undocumented immigrants.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who presides over the council, said the legislation would violate a state law signed in 2010 by then-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer that allows police to question people they stop about their immigration status.

Before the vote, Stanton said the parts of the 2010 law that "govern and mandate a certain level of interaction and cooperation with federal immigration authorities were upheld unanimously," by the US Supreme Court.

The nine-member council did decide to seek legal advice at a later date to determine whether the city could challenge the state law, however.

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