In Arizona, residents are increasingly frustrated and often angry at President Biden’s disregard for their safety and well-being as border patrol agents green-light illegal immigrants into the state. Last month, the Tucson Sector border patrol agents apprehended a cluster of 124 migrants, 105 of which were unaccompanied minors. Tucson Sector Chief John Modlin said that during the pre-Biden era, agents normally detained groups of single adults. On duty at the Douglas Station, horse patrol unit agents encountered 32 illegal border crossers from Mexico dressed in camouflage to blend in with the desert shrubs.
Unlike Texas that has plans to build eight emergency shelters with capacities of up to 14,000 children, including facilities at San Antonio and El Paso military bases, Arizona had been releasing migrant families into Yuma, Ajo and Gila Bend where nonprofits attempt to care for them. CBP also built “soft-sided facilities,” air-conditioned outdoor tents in Tucson and in Yuma that increased holding capacity for families and children.
But now that the Biden administration’s border mismanagement has reached Scottsdale’s high-rent district, where the median home price is $700,000, locals have protested more vocally. As part of a $530 million agreement between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Texas-based nonprofit, Family Endeavors, a vacant Scottsdale hotel will provide up to 1,239 beds. A former Biden staffer facilitated the deal.
Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls criticized the hotel plan and said it “actually encourages” more illegal immigration because the migrants know “they’re going to be released to an American hotel where they get room service….” Municipal officials said they only received one day’s notice. Protestors carrying “Save America” signs and the United States flag noted that armed guards surrounded the hotel, and that their reasonable concerns were ignored. Throughout Arizona, BLM bumper stickers and signs — Biden Loves Minors — are popping up.
A letter from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to the hotel property principals listed his questions, all unanswered, and his grave concerns about the detention center. First, who is in the facility and when would they leave? Second, will the migrants eventually filtrate into the community? Third, is a Scottsdale hotel the best location to house the migrants?
In his statement, Brnovich echoed Arizonans’ concerns. Brnovich wrote that Biden “is using Arizona as an experiment with his reckless border policies. I will continue to stand up for Arizonans and do everything I can to stop the Biden Administration’s attempt to abolish ICE. All of us will pay the price, not only with our tax dollars, but also with our national security, and the safety of our families.”
Arizonans and other states may be surprised to learn that, when it comes to expanding immigration, the Biden administration is just getting warmed up. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State announced that Central American migrants, often illegally in the U.S., with pending — not approved — asylum claims will be able to petition for their minors to join them. The Central American Minors Refugee and Parole (CAM) program originated in the Obama administration, and the Trump administration temporarily ended it. CAM represents another Biden administration overreach that will allow previously inadmissible aliens a legal path to the U.S., and access to affirmative benefits, employment authorization and eventually citizenship.
The majority of the tens of thousands of migrants who have unlawfully entered the U.S. since Biden took office will file asylum claims, and wait an average of 930 days for a decision. During that period, and with the Biden administration’s blessing, their Central American children and certain of their relatives will travel north on U.S. taxpayer-funded journeys. Also potentially included in the CAM free-for-all could be adult caregivers — grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles.
Looking back at the 2020 presidential election, neither Arizonans nor any other of the 49 states voted for a huge immigration increase, but that’s what they’re getting. Arizona certainly is not an open-borders promoter. Biden’s Arizona campaign was a nonstarter, and he won there by the narrowest margin, about 10,000 votes. Largely because President Trump turned off Arizona’s Republicans, for the first time since 1996, the former red state turned blue. But 10,000 votes aren’t a mandate to restructure Arizona, impose heavy costs on the existing residents, and underwrite the uninvited aliens’ daily lives.
Before providing for more migrants, Biden should give Arizona’s existing immigrant population a chance to achieve the coveted middle-class lifestyle. Currently, the state’s population is 31.7 percent Hispanic; 27 percent speak a language other than English at home, and the per capital income is $30,700.
Arizonans have mixed opinions about immigration. But they’re near-unanimous that they should have a voice in how federal immigration policy is determined, especially when it expands the state’s total population, and presents more societal challenges. Under the Biden regime, Arizonans, like the rest of America, are on the sidelines watching the illegal immigrant influx continue unabated.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.