U.S. SENATE – Today, U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to increase coordination with local governments and non-profits when releasing migrants into Arizona communities.

In light of historic apprehensions at the Southern border where over 18,000 migrants have been released into Arizona communities in the last three months, McSally sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen urging increased coordination between the federal government and local governments and non-profits. 

“While I recognize that DHS has limited resources to deal with heavy influxes of migrants, I urge DHS to examine its current efforts to coordinate with NGOs and state and local governments to identify potential areas for improvement,” McSally wrote.

The letter is available for download HERE.

Secretary Nielsen:

I am writing to register my deep concerns regarding the releases of large groups of migrants into Arizona neighborhoods and the impact of those releases on local communities.  I would also like to offer my assistance in finding a solution to this difficult issue and have asked several questions below to help in that effort.

I understand that Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) components have released a number of large groups of migrants into Phoenix, Yuma, and other Arizona municipalities in recent months.  Local officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) have expressed concern that they have received little or no advanced notification of these releases, creating both public-safety and humanitarian problems.  While I recognize that DHS has limited resources to deal with heavy influxes of migrants, I urge DHS to examine its current efforts to coordinate with NGOs and state and local governments to identify potential areas for improvement.

People in Phoenix, Yuma, and throughout Arizona are facing massive financial, public-safety, and humanitarian costs from an immigration crisis that they had no part in creating.  We need to do better to reduce the burden imposed on them, because, as Arizona Governor Doug Ducey highlighted in a recent radio interview, the status quo is unsustainable and unacceptable.  I want to work with the DHS and other stakeholders on a long-term, sustainable strategy to ensure that local governments and NGOs are prepared and have enough resources so they are not overwhelmed by the number of migrants being released in Arizona.  To this end, I respectfully submit the following questions:

  1. What factors does DHS consider in determining when and where to release migrants into the community?
  2. Does DHS consult with NGOs and state and local governments in determining when and where to release migrants into the community?
  3. Does DHS provide notice to NGOs and state and local governments before releasing migrants into the community?
    1. If so, how much notice does DHS provide these entities before releases?
    2. Are there any obstacles to DHS providing these entities with notice of upcoming releases?
  4. What federal resources is DHS using to assist NGOs and state and local governments with migrant releases?
    1. Are there additional federal resources that are available to be deployed for assisting NGOs and state and local governments with migrant releases?

Thank you very much for your attention to this important issue, and I look forward to hearing from you.  I stand ready to assist in any way I can.