By a unanimous vote, the Pima County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on Tuesday declaring Pima as an immigrant-friendly community.
The resolution makes no changes to county laws, but according to County Supervisor Richard Elias, it’s an attempt to highlight Pima as a welcoming place for immigrants to live and work.
“We’re trying to make sure people know that Pima County welcomes people," he said. "We are different than some of the folks in the state who have passed some anti-immigrant legislation over the last few years that really damaged Arizona’s reputation."
The move comes as activists renew their push for federal immigration reform in Washington.
But Elias said new immigration rules are vital to address the problem of undocumented residents in the country.
“Well ultimately, you know, there’s going to have to be some kind of change to immigration laws to deal with people who live in the shadows, the undocumented, and we’re going to have to find processes that work easier for people so that they’re able to live here legally," he said.
Elias said Pima County is also working to increase economic ties with Mexico, which he said could bring millions in trade to Southern Arizona.