Pima supervisors deeply involved in federal border issues

The Board of Supervisors voted in September to reject last year’s $1.4 million Stonegarden grant despite appeals from Sheriff Mark Napier./Murphy Woodhouse / Arizona Daily Star

Arizona Daily Star

After cutting ties to a controversial federal border-protection grant last year, the Pima County Board of Supervisors will consider whether to accept nearly $1.5 million in new funding from the program.

Last year, as with the previous 12 years, supervisors voted in February to accept federal funds under Operation Stonegarden, which provides money to law enforcement agencies for overtime, equipment and mileage related to border-security operations.

But following national discussion of federal immigration tactics, including the widespread separation of families at the border, the supervisors reevaluated Pima County’s position on the issue and changed course, voting in September to cancel the grant.

Despite the controversy, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department applied for 2019 funds and was awarded more than $1.4 million. The grant acceptance vote is on the May 7 agenda, with at least one new and questionable addition to the application: Vehicle-mounted license-plate readers.

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