Housing Migrants Costs $7M Monthly For AZ Sector

A CBP insider has noted the soaring costs arising from the increased migrant encounters in the Tucson Border Patrol Sector, given the capacity limits of the current facilities. A Tucson-based facility, running at a monthly operational cost of about $7 million, is now expanding to double its holding capacity. Consequently, the operating costs are expected to double as well.

Breitbart Texas observed the expansion development at the processing center on East Los Reales Road in Tucson, Arizona, established in 2021. Initially built to house 500 migrants, the facility’s current count surpasses this due to the uptick in migrant movements in the vicinity. With an original contract exceeding $100 million, the terms have been revised to accommodate the expansion, aiming to alleviate the congestion. This facility is one of two Border Patrol-run centers in Arizona. Miami’s Logistic Events Corp supervises the growth, with construction teams actively working.

A significant increase was seen in August, with close to 49,000 migrants apprehended in the Tucson sector, representing a whopping 160 percent rise from August 2022. As per some reports, the Tucson Sector has had the highest number of migrant encounters compared to other southwest border sectors. From October, apprehensions in Tucson are reported to be over 322,000, up from 230,000 during the same period in 2022.

This surge in migrant inflow also burdens non-government shelters that cater to these migrants and facilitate their internal U.S. travels. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) often covers most of these costs.

Breitbart Texas visited a few such shelters in Tucson managed by Casa Alitas, a Catholic Community Services initiative of Southern Arizona. One center that Breitbart Texas visited on a Sunday was previously a juvenile detention center. Like the Border Patrol Processing Center, this center has been grappling with capacity issues. A new shelter was inaugurated some miles away to address this capacity issue, considering the rising migrant releases.

While at Casa Alitas, Breitbart Texas engaged with a Venezuelan migrant, Enrique. He expressed his satisfaction with the facilities but is keen to move on. Enrique and his family have been in the U.S. for over a month through the CBP-One application and will soon head to Chicago. Although without legal work clearance, he secured a landscaping job in Tucson and plans to continue in Chicago.

Addressing the capacity constraints at Enrique’s shelter, Casa Alitas initiated another facility on Drexel Road, not far from Interstate 19. As per a KGUN news segment, this center, designed mainly for non-Spanish-speaking male adults, began operations in December 2022 with a half-year lease worth $330,000, funded by FEMA to Pima County.

With migrant interactions nearing 1,700 daily, the source projects that the expenditure related to migrant processing and sheltering in Tucson will probably stay elevated.