Federal officials have denied a request to shift funding to operate a migrant shelter in Tucson, Arizona, after they determined “there is no border security operational benefit.” Pima County officials asked for portions of a federal grant to be used to operate the Casa Alitas migrant shelter in recent months. However, the request was denied in a November letter because there was an “insufficient basis” to reallocate funds, according to a U.S. Border Patrol risk analysis for the county. The Arizona Daily Star reports that Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote of the existence of the letter in a Dec. 10 memo.
The Star reports that Huckelberry had publicly maintained that the county was awaiting a decision from the federal government after the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted in May to resume accepting the grant to allow $200,000 for the shelter. “It’s pretty disappointing that somebody would think that humanitarian aid that was provided for in the law and in the policy would somehow diminish border security,” Huckelberry told the Star. Huckelberry added that the county has spent roughly $500,000 at the shelter since it opened in early August.