Cochise County Sheriff’s Office prepares for the end of Title 42

They are expecting 400 releases per day in the county.
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 10:41 PM MST|Updated: May. 10, 2023 at 7:00 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - With Title 42 set to end Thursday, law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office are preparing for a large number of migrants at the border.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said their biggest challenge will be the number of releases.

“We anticipate 400 releases a day in our county. So, to ensure that we have the proper transportation, buses to transport them out of here, because we don’t have logistical resources like the urban areas do. So that’s the biggest thing. So, making sure that’s going on and sustained into the future,” said Dannels.

Dannels said the department is currently in a good position given their state and local partnerships. However, it remains unclear how long they can stay in that position.

“So, we’re already I think above the fray in a lot of ways. It’s just how do we get the migrants that are being released into an area to have the resources, adequate resources to address them,” said Dannels. “So that’s been my big challenge right now and the other challenge is the unknown.”

He added that the federal government has not properly stepped up their guidance as the deadline approaches.

“It’s very upsetting. Everybody knew Title 42 was going to go away. So why have we not planned better,” said Dannels. “We can do a better job here and I’m talking about we as the federal government to work with our state and local leadership to say, here’s what we got for you, can this work for you?”

Another concern for him is how they are expected to pay for expenses such as buses to transport migrants.

“We shouldn’t have to call them to say, what is it going to cost for a bus? How do I set this up? They should be calling us saying we already took care of that sheriff. That’s frustrating to say the least,” said Dannels.

Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema recently announced that Arizona will receive more than $45.5 million through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. This will be used to help non-profits and communities on the border provide critical assistance to migrants.

And while the cost of things is a concern for him, he said his first priority is his people.

“My biggest concern is getting those migrants out of our community, and how we pay the bills from there. That’s truly what we’re trying to do right now,” said Dannels. “But my number one priority, and my authority is public safety. And I wanted to keep doing what we have to do to keep them safe.”

Dannels added that the key to success over the past two years has been their partnership with US Customs and Border Protection. He said as long as that partnership stays strong, they can stay above this.

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