Gov. Doug Ducey calls on Congress to help Arizona with released migrants

Mar 22, 2019, 11:45 AM

PHOENIX — Days after immigration officials dropped off hundreds of migrants at a Phoenix bus station, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey called on Congress to help the state respond to what he called a humanitarian crisis.

“I’m thankful to the faith-based community and the nonprofits that have stepped up to help in this situation, but resources are running thin, people are overwhelmed,” Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday.

On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials dropped off about 150 people, mostly Central American families, at a Greyhound station at Buckeye Road and 24th Street.

“We’ve been able to deal with it so far, but my thought here is that we have to plan ahead. This is likely going to continue and we’re going to need more resources to deal with it,” Ducey said.

“Ideally, I’d like to see Congress act on this situation. We’re never going to have it perfect at the border, but certainly we can improve the situation.”

Mesa Pastor Magdalena Schwartz, whose network of metro Phoenix churches have housed thousands of migrants over the past five or so months, said that she wanted to see the governor’s office or the city of Phoenix provide a facility to care for migrants.

Henry Lucero, the Phoenix field director for ICE, told KTAR News on Monday the federal government has no legal obligation to house migrants who have been released from overflowing detention centers.

But Ducey said this is an issue that all levels of government have to address.

“This is an issue we have to deal with as a state, as a country, as a federal government,” he said.

“There is a crisis at the border. It’s a humanitarian crisis, it’s a security crisis. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) is pushed to the limit here.”

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Gov. Doug Ducey calls on Congress to help Arizona with released migrants