On Monday, July 22, 2019, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to accept a proposal to transform 3 units of the Pima County Juvenile Justice complex into a shelter/processing center for migrants. These migrants are being released in the community pending an asylum hearing in compliance with existing federal law. This processing center will be managed by Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona (CCSSA).
Supervisor Ally Miller offers the following statement:
"Once again, we saw the harm that is done through the "tyranny of the majority." In a 3-2 vote, the Board demonstrated that the public's concerns will be ignored if it suits the needs of a few."
"Although the issue was presented as an emergency today, we learned that County Administrator Huckelberry has been aware of this matter since at least April. I was not informed of this situation until I received the first memorandum on July 8th. One choice is not enough and I questioned why CCSSA was the only organization under consideration to operate this facility. It appears many faith-based organizations have been stepping up to assist with this situation. There can be no justification for keeping the Supervisors in the dark. It became abundantly clear today that the so called emergency was to ensure a predetermined solution to the problem."
"Mr. Huckelberry stated he has applied for more than $2.5 million in grant funding for this effort. Approximately $550 thousand was requested from the $1.2 million Stonegarden grant that was accepted in May. I raised concerns that these funds may not be approved for this use and whether this will impact future Stonegarden funding."
"While we have further weakened the public's trust in the County, we might have also weakened our position to secure future Stonegarden funding. Sheriff Napier was very clear when he advised the Board in May that there was no guarantee that we would receive Stonegarden funds in the future if we use the funds for purposes other than those specifically outlined in the grant."
"In fact, if the County engages in more reckless political posturing, we could be on the hook to repay over $6 million for equipment purchased in prior years with Stonegarden funding."
"In addition, I want to reiterate that my concerns and questions about the costs and other potential liabilities have not been adequately addressed by Mr. Huckelberry."
"It has been my stated my position that this crisis is the responsibility of the federal government and our representatives in the Senate and House have failed to do their job. They need to step up and secure emergency funding for these efforts that are a direct result of their failure to fix this problem. We must demand more from them, and also demand better for our constituents."