New shelters for migrant children could come to Yuma and Tucson
ARIZONA, U.S. – New shelters for unaccompanied children and families could be coming to Yuma and Tucson soon as the U.S. is projected to reach the highest number of people arrested on the Mexican border in two decades.
In a statement, Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas said “we are well on our way to encounter more people on the southwest border than in the last 20 years” while dealing with what he described as “difficult” the border dealt with.
In the statement, Secretary Mayorkas said he had hired the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set up new temporary facilities for housing immigrant children and families in Arizona and Texas.
A Customs and Border Protection spokesman said he was considering setting up facilities in Yuma and Tucson but did not provide a schedule of when the shelters could be operational and how many migrants they could accommodate.
The facility would be built from scratch, and that could take months.
The influx of migrants arriving at the border has left a backlog at border patrol stations, where an additional 4,200 children are in custody and nearly 3,000 are detained beyond the legal 72-hour limit.
Border guards only encountered 1,381 unaccompanied minors in the Tucson sector in February, compared with 865 in the previous month.
At the same time, the number of family members of migrants rose from 388 to 976.
“We don’t have actual apartments, so we are not prepared for them,” said Arturo Garino, Mayor of Nogales. Who says that the city will not be able to cope with such an increase in migration figures even before the financial damage caused by the pandemic.
Now, after a year on COVID, most of Nogales’ nonprofits are barely functioning and open, with many unable to assist or move migrants when they need it.
For this reason, the border guides are demanding more contributions from the federal government in order to combat the situation.
“If they expect us to be prepared, we will likely need federal government funding,” Garino said.