DOUGLAS, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Florida Senator Rick Scott traveled to Douglas, AZ. on Friday for a first-hand look at the security and humanitarian situation at the southern border.
Their visit comes as the region is seeing a surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the southwest border. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, more than 14,000 unaccompanied minors are in federal custody.
The governor said in a press conference it’s not the first time the state has seen an increase. In 2014, under the Obama administration, more than 64,000 migrant children were in custody.
Both the governor and senator are calling out the Biden administration for ending the ‘Migrant Protection Protocol’ better known as the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. Ducey says the end in the Trump-era policy is sending the wrong message.
“I’m also referring to the incentives that have been put out there rhetorically, like free health care for all who cross the border,” he mentions.
Our team asked Gov. Ducey what he will do about the hundreds of families with active MPP cases who have waited more than a year in Nogales, Sonora to present their asylum cases.
“Those are the requests that should be heard... so where are the resources for them to be heard? That is what we’re trying to get,” Gov. Ducey said.
Senator Scott’s first plan of action when he returns to D.C. is to push for construction on the border wall to continue.
″We need technology, and you’re going to need more agents; on top of that, facilities. Hopefully we didn’t have to need those, if we had a secure border,” said Senator Scott.
Gov. Ducey met with FEMA officials to talk resources for CBP and local non-profits on the ground to help with the influx of migrant children.
″These children are coming across the border; many of them coming out [COVID-19] positive recently. They’ve been cohered together, they’ve been spreading the virus,” said Gov. Ducey.
As KOLD News 13 has reported, non-profit leaders in Tucson like Casa Alitas are testing everyone who comes in their doors, including children. If families or children test positive, they are isolated until they recover.