/ Modified mar 26, 2024 2:20 p.m.

Pima County to continue migrant services

County will avoid street releases at the end of the week, anticipating federal funding from the $650 million, in the border security funding bill, for shelter and services to asylum seekers.

Casa Alitas beds VIEW LARGER Sleeping area at a shelter that's part of the Casa Alitas program on March 1, 2024.
Danyelle Khmara

Pima County plans to continue short term services for asylum seekers even as current funding runs out at the end of the week, in anticipation that more funding will come from the $1.2 trillion budget bill the president signed into law last week.

As the current federal funding comes to an end, officials planned for street releases of potentially hundreds of people a day, including hundreds of children.

County administrator Jan Lesher said in a memo Tuesday to county supervisors that she has sufficient confidence in the federal reassurances of funding, that she directed county staff to work with Catholic Community Services to plan for continued operations at both Casa Alitas sites, where asylum seekers receive short term shelter, food, clothes and assistance solidifying travel plans after they’ve been processed and dropped off by Border Patrol.

County staff will discuss the extension of services with the Board of Supervisors at an upcoming meeting.

The county has been providing federally funded services for asylum seekers since 2019, and it’s typical that the county spends its own funds on these services and then gets reimbursed by federal grants.

The county has received more than 77 million in federal funds in that time and has served more than 400,000 asylum seekers, many of whom were families and children.

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