Sponsored by


Note: This story is more than 3 years old.

McSally, Biggs question DHS on release of migrants in Arizona

PHOENIX – Sen. Martha McSally reiterated her support for stronger border security at a closed-door roundtable meeting this week but stopped short of supporting President Donald Trump’s threats to shut down the southern border if Mexico doesn’t stop migrants from entering the United States.

She also called on Congress to close “loopholes” that she said have created the recent influx of migrants, most of them from Central America.

The Arizona Republican organized the Monday roundtable as an “all-hands” effort with officials from the Immigration Control and Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, city leaders and heads of non-governmental organizations to discuss the apprehension and release of migrants in Arizona communities, according to an emailed press release.

“We definitely have an emergency situation and a crisis going on at our southern border,” McSally said as she addressed reporters after the event.

The senator blamed what she called an “overwhelming” influx of migrant releases into Arizona communities on loopholes within current immigration laws and agency policies.

“Congress needs to do its job … to close the legal loopholes that are creating the challenge,” McSally said.

She did not offer her view about Trump’s repeated threats to close “large sections of the border” this week but said she believed that kind of action would affect the approximately “200,000 jobs related to cross-border commerce” contributing to Arizona’s economy.

“I am not familiar with any plans within the administration,” McSally said. “We got to keep the legitimate trade and travel and cross-border commerce happening at the ports of entry.”

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson!

Also weighing in on the release of apprehended migrants was Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, who sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday regarding the “alarming reports” he received from immigration officials stating “that illegal aliens are being released in Arizona communities … with little more than a notice to appear for immigration hearings.”

Biggs, who was not at McSally’s roundtable, made seven inquiries into the reasoning behind the release of the migrants, adding “our inability to properly vet and monitor them puts our communities at risk.”

“Cities and communities should not be forced to bear the brunt of this crisis, which is inherently a federal responsibility,” Biggs said in his letter. “Moreover, I fear that this will only worsen the overall low-morale of ICE and Border Patrol agents who are grossly under-resourced and overworked.”

- 30 -
have your say   


There are no comments on this report. Sorry, comments are closed.

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Read all of TucsonSentinel.com's
coronavirus reporting here »

Click image to enlarge

Oskar Agredano/Cronkite News

Tim Roemer (left), Sen. Martha McSally and Enrique Lucero discuss the issues Arizona is experiencing with the influx of migrants at a meeting Monday at the Department of Homeland Security in Phoenix.