Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Southern AZ officials ask for federal help for asylum seekers released at border
As President Biden reworks the immigration system at the border, local officials in Tucson, as well as Arizona’s governor and congressional members, are asking for federal help in case those changes lead to large numbers of asylum seekers released in Southern Arizona.
No such increase has occurred yet in Arizona, but officials pointed to the enormous local effort required when thousands of asylum seekers were released by the Border Patrol and cared for by religious groups, hundreds of volunteers, and local governments in Southern Arizona in 2019. The situation this year could be even more complex due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
“In the past, this has led to a local crisis when processing these asylum seekers for emergency shelter and transportation services to their final point of destination in the United States,” Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote in a Feb. 12 memo to the Board of Supervisors.
Federal officials had not contacted the county to develop an emergency shelter plan, Huckelberry wrote, calling the Department of Homeland Security “ill-prepared to handle the issue.”
In 2019, the Tucson community helped more than 20,000 asylum seekers, many of whom were traveling as families, reach their destinations elsewhere in the United States. Those asylum seekers were housed at the former Benedictine Monastery, local churches, and in a converted wing of an unused portion of the juvenile detention center.
The situation changed dramatically in January 2020 when the Trump administration implemented a policy in Nogales, Sonora that forced asylum seekers to wait for months or years on the Mexico side of the border, rather than be released in cities like Tucson...MORE