Congressman tours migrant aid facility, calls on D.C. to continue funding organizations

Congressman tours migrant aid facility, calls on D.C. to continue funding organizations
Published: Oct. 8, 2023 at 6:42 AM MST|Updated: Oct. 9, 2023 at 7:01 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - As migrants continue to enter the United States in record numbers, concerns are growing for local organizations to make sure they have enough resources to meet the demand.

Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) toured the Casa Alitas facility to see how things are going in Pima County.

He said what the country is seeing at the border will never end, but if resources are jeopardized, things will only be worse, and productive discussions must take place.

“Those are the meetings we’re going to have,” said Grijalva. “To secure sustainability for what’s going on now, and to make the offer that I’m making now: If you wanna talk, let’s talk.”

After touring Casa Alitas, Grijalva shared his concerns with proposed laws in D.C. that may limit the help and funding organizations assisting migrants will get in the future. At the facility, while he expressed gratitude for the 600 volunteers helping, he says it was still sad to see.

“I can see it in their eyes that it’s frustrating, that they’re having to jump through layers with CBP, DHS, and different layers of bureaucracy, and if they didn’t have to, their job would be much easier.”

Grijalva said he is also concerned about the lack of timely communication of when migrants are released. Chairwoman Adelita Grijalva from the Pima County Board of Supervisors has noticed this firsthand, and says proper notifications need to be in place.

“The rules are not the same, that’s one of the problems,” she said. “So we have El Paso, they work with CBP, and they get a manifest of everyone who’s coming 3 days before they come.”

“We may get a call 15 minutes before a bus is being unloaded in the middle of a town that doesn’t have the resources.”

Congressman Grijalva and Chairwoman Grijalva both say a large problem surrounding the border and migrants is the narrative associated with it.

“They’re seeking asylum, they’re refugees, so when people say it’s an open border and they’re coming through, you have to understand that this process, this legal process, has been established for decades,” she said.

A recent announcement from the Biden Administration stated they will expand the border wall in Texas and start deporting Venezuelans who entered unlawfully. That, along with the struggle in D.C. to find a more long-term speaker of the house, prompted Grijalva to shine light on the importance of compromise in government.

“I don’t think it’s a question of like. It’s a question of governing. It’s a question of doing business, compromising, of not getting your way every time,” he said.

“But if there’s a possibility that somebody understands there’s a middle ground … we’re open to that discussion.”

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