Arizona started busing immigrants over 2,000 miles to Washington, D.C. this week.
Governor Ducey took a move ahead of the Biden Administration’s intention to repeal Title 42, a pandemic-era policy. Title 42 enables the Border Patrol to detain hundreds and thousands of migrants for fear of spreading COVID.
The migrants are being housed in a nearby nonprofit near Yuma. So far, two buses have gone, one on Thursday. So far, 60 people from 12 nations have participated. “With Arizona community resources under all-time demand, and little action or assistance from the federal government, individuals who entered Arizona seeking asylum have the opportunity to voluntarily be transported to Washington, D.C.,” Governor Ducey stated, per report.
Unlike many other immigrants who arrive at the border, the migrant’s asylum requests were processed and they were freed. Thousands of people are waiting in Mexico for a chance to reach the United States. “I think the time is needed for somebody to sit down with the people who are organizing this and find out when they’ll have their act together,” Arizona Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D) stated.
Last week, Congressman O’Halleran went on a border tour in Cochise County. He’s pleading with the Biden administration to keep Title 42 in place. “Both the Border Patrol and immigration at the ports of entry did not give me the confidence that they have been brought up to speed in a collaborative process,” O’Halleran added.
With only a few weeks until Title 42 is set to expire, Congressman O’Halleran sees no evidence that the administration is prepared for the flood of immigrants at border crossings.
“I don’t think it’s going to work out,” remarked O’Halleran. “I think there’s going to be a tremendous amount of backlog. There’s going to be people going through the process efficiently. But for the most part, it’s going to be chaotic.”
The congressman isn’t alone himself. Senator Kyrsten Sinema was not thrilled with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Mayorkas’ plans to process immigrants who will be arriving by thousands every day requesting asylum at a committee she convened last week.
“DHS needs to put the necessary resources on the ground and implement processing system improvements in a manner that will keep Arizona communities safe, and treat migrants fairly and humanely,” Senator Sinema stated.
The Biden Administration’s formal demand that Title 42 be rescinded on May 23 will be heard in court on Friday. Arizona & 20 other states will try to persuade a federal court in Louisiana that lifting Title 42 is premature. Last month, Judge Robert Summerhays said he could grant a preliminary restraining order to keep Title 42 alive.
Arizona might find out as soon as Friday if the court still holds that opinion.