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Kelly, Sinema renew calls for federal migrant care funding, warning of Arizona street releases

Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0Office of Senator Kyrsten Sinema

Sen. Mark Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly are once again calling on Congress to restore funding to Pima County's Immigrant and Asylum Seeker Assistance Program.

The City of Tucson, Pima County and local aid organizations are leveraging local donations and federal funds to provide assistance to immigrants and asylum seekers released by the Border Patrol to await immigration hearings in the United States. There is.

But county officials have warned that existing federal funding will run out this month and without additional funding they will be forced to change or reduce services. Aid groups in Phoenix faced a similar funding crisis in June.

in letter Mr. Kelly and Mr. Sinema told House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders that lawmakers have been asked about their concerns about the Shelter and Services Program, a federal initiative that local governments such as Pima County are implementing to care for immigrants. He argued that $750 million should be allocated.

“Arizona's border communities and charities are reaching their limits as they continue to take over the functions of the federal government,” the letter said. “Arizona's fiscal year 2023 funding has been nearly completely depleted, and some grant recipients are scaling back operations, putting migrants at risk of being released onto the streets of Arizona's local communities. .”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers use facial comparison software to determine potential entry into the United States and screen immigrants.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents use facial comparison software to process and screen immigrants who may be entering the United States on May 31, 2023 in Brownsville, Texas.

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