SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is expressing “grave concerns” to the administration of President Joe Biden over using an Arizona hotel as a facility to house migrants recently caught crossing the southern U.S. border, noting safety concerns due to the fact that a school and neighborhood are nearby, reports say.
The Biden Administration has directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enter into a contract with the hotel in question – located in Scottsdale – as a way of dealing with the surge of migrants apprehended crossing over into the country.
Brnovich recently sent a letter addressing the heads of both DHS and ICE, stating that using a hotel to house numerous illegal immigrants so close to a school and residential homes raises very real issues of safety for local families.
“I was extremely disappointed to learn about this through a newspaper report rather than any prior contact from DHS or ICE, even though there are important public safety issues involved in locating any detention center in a community setting,” he wrote.
The number of migrants surging at the U.S. border has reached mammoth proportions; U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that they encountered more than 172,000 people at the border in March alone, the highest number recorded in more than 20 years and a 70 percent increase from February.
As detention facilities soon became overwhelmed with officials attempting to deal with the endless number of migrants encountered at the border, the Biden Administration instructed ICE to begin housing them via short-term contracts with local hotels in Texas and Arizona, including “several hotels along the southwest border, including in Chandler and Phoenix.”
“The families are housed in a manner consistent with legal requirements for the safety and well-being of children and their parents or guardians,” an ICE spokesperson told Fox News. “Custody is intended to be short term, generally less than 72 hours, to allow for immigration enforcement processing and establishing appropriate terms and conditions of release while their immigration proceedings continue. All families will be tested for COVID-19 and receive a health assessment.”
However, local residents have found the use of local hotels in their communities to be controversial; last week about 200 protestors gathered outside of the Scottsdale hotel, voicing their opposition to the housing of migrants so close to their homes.
In addition, Brnovich noted in his letter to DHS and ICE that detaining migrants at the Scottsdale hotel could “result in some of them being released into the community,” citing what he claimed was the Biden Administration’s failure to properly enforce immigration laws.
“If the prime contractor is unable to place particular detainees, it is foreseeable that ICE could simply release the detainee into the community because they do not fall within the Biden administration’s extremely narrow ‘enforcement priorities,’” he wrote.