By Josh Kelety | Phoenix New Times
The federal government will construct new facilities in Arizona to handle the recent spike in migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, the country’s chief immigration official said.
In a news release issued on March 16, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be “standing up additional facilities in Texas and Arizona to shelter unaccompanied children and families.”
“Based on past experience, evaluation of operational requirements, and challenges due to COVID-19 space restrictions, we need additional processing facilities when we see rising numbers of encounters,” said a statement by CBP released by spokesperson John Mennell. “As we work to build and improve permanent facilities for the safe and orderly processing of individuals at the border, temporary soft-sided facilities are sometimes necessary to meet operational needs that may arise due to rising encounters, particularly under challenging circumstances.”
“The recent surge in unaccompanied youths from Mexico and Central America seeking asylum at our borders will certainly be an early test for the Biden administration as it inherits the disastrous legacy of the Trump administration s immigration policy. It is encouraging that we are learning of plans to add facilities and resources to address this problem from CBP and DHS themselves rather than through leaks or investigative journalism, and bodes well for a more humane and transparent immigration policy for the next four years.”
Darius Amiri, Rose Law Group Immigration Law Dept. Chair