Mayor Regina Romero: City prepares to help with asylum-seekers being released in Tucson

Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 10:31 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson city leaders, Pima County leaders, and state leaders are teaming up to prepare for another possible surge of asylum-seekers in the community. Officials expect the rise to happen within the next few weeks.

Mayor Regina Romero’s priority is to approach this situation with humanity, to be 10 steps ahead in planning, that way there is not a repeat of the 2019 humanitarian crisis that overwhelmed Tucson.

“The last thing we want as a city is that we see crowded shelters or people being dropped off at our city parks,” said Romero. She said what the city could witness for the second time is a direct result of immigration policies under the Trump administration.

City officials are working with nonprofits and churches to provide shelter to these families, “to see if we can accommodate at least 10 rooms or more,” said Romero.

Romero said that the city is also working with U.S Customs and Border Protection officials to accommodate any transportation needs when the time comes.

CBP said in a statement, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been actively monitoring the irregular migration of persons through Central America and Mexico.”

The statement also mentions, “At this time, Tucson Sector is only releasing migrants for humanitarian reasons on a case by case basis.”

Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly are taking action on the matter, sending a joint letter to the Department of Homeland Security stating, “Reports indicate that Arizona faces a looming challenge at the border due to the combination of increasing numbers of migrants and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

The letter urges DHS to “take immediate action to ensure there are sufficient resources in Arizona to keep communities safe and to also make sure migrants are treated fairly and humanely.”

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