Pima County to pay for transportation of asylum seekers to Tucson shelter

Mar 25, 2021, 4:55 AM
Asylum seekers cross an international bridge from Mexico into the United States on March 17, 2021 (...
Asylum seekers cross an international bridge from Mexico into the United States on March 17, 2021 (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Due to an influx of migrants being dropped off in Ajo, Pima County voted Wednesday during an emergency meeting to enter contracts with companies to provide transportation of asylum seekers from Ajo to Tucson’s Casa Alita’s shelter.

The board in a 4-1 vote agreed to front the cost, with hopes the federal government will reimburse them later on.

Pima Supervisor Adelita Grijalva explained the issue is not a partisan one and said this was a health crisis.

“We potentially can help mitigate [COVID-19] by transporting people, by making sure we get them the services that they need,” Grijalva said. “This is not an endorsement one way or another.”

Supervisor Steve Christy was the only one to vote no, claiming immigration is a federal problem and they should be the ones taking care of the transportation issue.

The county’s administrator Chuck Huckelberry told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the need for transportation comes after a change in policy from federal authorities.

“The border patrol has taken the position in 2021 that they are releasing asylum seekers or family units where they are essentially apprehended,” Huckelberry explained, adding this prevents them from taking migrants directly to the Tucson shelter like in previous surges.

Huckelberry said migrants can only be transported up to 35 miles from where they were originally apprehended.

It is expected that federal authorities will soon begin dropping off migrants at Three Point, Arizona, a small town 30 minutes away from Tucson.

Meanwhile, the county is also providing rapid COVID-19 tests to non-governmental organizations to test the migrants. Huckelberry said the Department of Homeland Security only tests migrants if they’re showing symptoms of the virus.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fan Fusion,  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for May 27-29

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of May 27-29.
5 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...

No Valley freeway closures planned for Memorial Day weekend

Drivers won't have to worry about scheduled closures on metro Phoenix freeways this Memorial Day weekend, ADOT said.
5 hours ago
Marcos Anthony Herrera and Anthony Michael Murray (Scottsdale Police Department Photo)...

Scottsdale police arrest 2 men in string of robberies, burglaries

Scottsdale police arrested two men who are allegedly responsible for at least 12 separate crimes across metro Phoenix, authorities said Thursday.
5 hours ago
Jose Dioicio Buelna. (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photo)...

Arizona man sentenced to 5 years for selling fentanyl

An Arizona man was sentenced to five years in prison last week for his role in a drug trafficking organization, authorities said. 
1 day ago
(Tempe Police Screenshot)...

Watch: Vehicle left in drive rams through Tempe shop

A pair of men narrowly avoided serious injury after a vehicle left in drive rammed through the front of a Tempe shop on Thursday afternoon.
1 day ago
Arizona activists want Gov. Doug Ducey, right, to denounce state Sen. Wendy Rogers over her respons...
Kevin Stone

Arizona political coalition urges Gov. Doug Ducey to condemn Sen. Wendy Rogers

An Arizona political coalition is calling on Gov. Doug Ducey to condemn state Sen. Wendy Rogers over her response to the Buffalo shooting.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Pima County to pay for transportation of asylum seekers to Tucson shelter