Border Patrol to build migrant detention facility in Tucson area

Mayor Romero says city ‘ready to be a part of the solution as Biden Administration unwinds inhumane policies of Trump Administration’
Migrants are detained in a tented, air-conditioned cage at a Border Patrol detention facility...
Migrants are detained in a tented, air-conditioned cage at a Border Patrol detention facility in Tornillo, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. Immigration officials say that with less detainees and more detention space, migrants apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border won’t be subject to the squalid, overcrowded conditions criticized earlier this year. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)(Cedar Attanasio | AP)
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 2:44 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As more unaccompanied children and others turn themselves over to authorities at the border, federal officials are looking for options on where to house them.

According to Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, Border Patrol is constructing a tent facility in the Pima County area. It will be located at 4550 East Los Reales Road, which is east of the airport, and should be completed in late April or early May.

Romero said the city, which has no role in the facility, is working with local hotels to house migrants. She said the city will try to get the federal government to reimburse the city for the cost of the hotels.

The hotels will be a temporary solution as the migrants “await transportation to relatives or sponsors living in the U.S.” Romero said the city has helped about 75 families in the last few weeks.

Romero issued the following statement about the Border Patrol facility:

“While any “tent-like” structure is a sub-optimal solution, it is imperative that any new facility is able to provide humane care with adequate COVID-19 precautions, especially for unaccompanied children who have already endured trauma that no child should have to experience. The crammed conditions that we have seen in other facilities in other states are simply not acceptable. In the interest of transparency, it is important that this facility be open to both elected officials and members of the media, which is why I am encouraged to hear that Border Patrol plans to have an “open house” of the facility prior to becoming operational.

“The right to seek asylum is a basic human right that is enshrined in international law. It is unfortunate that some are choosing to exploit the very real and difficult situations these children and families are facing for political gain and photo-ops at the border. The City of Tucson stands ready to be a part of the solution as the Biden Administration unwinds the inhumane policies of the Trump Administration, which turned away children and families who have experienced unspeakable acts of violence, political persecution, and discrimination.”

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