Funding for migrants in Arizona under threat

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An alarm is being sounded about the potential for thousands of migrants and asylum seekers to be released onto the streets of Arizona’s southern border cities.

Funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to process migrants after giving them the all-clear to be released was expected to run out on March 31, funding which kept migrants off the streets.

Since 2019, border agents have collaborated with local governments and nonprofit organizations in southern Arizona to drop off migrants at specific locations in Yuma or Tucson. Numerous nonprofit organizations also contribute financially to help migrants with housing, transportation, and meals.

“The U.S. government has less attention capacity, about 30,000 beds or so at the moment. You can’t just hold everybody, so essentially as you’re processing people, who are claiming asylum or even if they don’t qualify, you can’t hold them in detention,” said Rafael Carranza, Immigration Issues Reporter at “The Arizona Republic” and azcentral.com.

Carranza explained there is a risk of migrants being released into small cities such as Douglas, Arizona, which has a estimated population of 16,000 residents, meaning “there would have been the risk of releasing up to 150 people each day there,” he said.

In order to reduce this risk, the federal government gave $650 million in aid to immigrants and asylum seekers to help with housing and transportation. The amount Arizona will receive is still up for debate.

Rafael Carranza, Immigration Issues Reporter, "The Arizona Republic" and azcentral.com

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