Plan to lift ban on asylum seekers worries mayor of Arizona border city

Apr 4, 2022, 4:05 AM

Migrants walk to an area in Yuma, Ariz., Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, where they surrender to Border Patro...

Migrants walk to an area in Yuma, Ariz., Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, where they surrender to Border Patrol agents hoping to remain in the United States to seek asylum. (AP File Photo/Elliot Spagat)

(AP File Photo/Elliot Spagat)

SAN LUIS, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona border city’s mayor has voiced concerns about how his community will be affected by the Biden administration’s plan to lift the ban on asylum seekers at the U.S-Mexico border on public health grounds.

San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez foresees security risks and an inability to provide shelter to asylum seekers who presumably will gather in the city while waiting for their asylum petitions to be adjudicated, the Yuma Sun reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that it would lift the asylum ban, known as Title 42, next month. The ban had become increasingly hard to justify as pandemic restrictions ended around the country.

“This is something that is worrisome,” Sanchez said before the decision was announced.

Sanchez fears that the federal government might divert funds from other border needs, such as the expansion and modernization of the San Luis port of entry, to handle the processing and sheltering of asylum seekers.

“We are going to speak with our representatives in Congress so that those funds are not touched,” Sanchez said.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero on Friday applauded the policy change but said the federal government must provide a “humane, dignified process” for asylum seekers while supporting communities and organizations involved in the process.

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Plan to lift ban on asylum seekers worries mayor of Arizona border city