STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Kelly Townsend (R-16) offered a proclamation on the House floor yesterday urging Congress to take action to address the ongoing border crisis.
“This stream of new migrants into Arizona and other border states presents considerable security, health, and humanitarian concerns,” said Representative Townsend. “It is past time for Congress to take necessary action to address our overburdened border and immigration system so we can ensure the safety of both our citizens and these migrants.”
Text of the proclamation is below.
Whereas, the United States and the state of Arizona have a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants and offering protection for families and individuals fleeing persecution in their home countries; and
Whereas, our immigration system is being overwhelmed by a reported 230 percent surge in migration across our southern border according to Border Patrol officials; and
Whereas, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), they have only 3,000 beds for family detention, none in Arizona; and
Whereas, about 14,500 migrant families have been detained and released by ICE in the state of Arizona between December 21, 2018 and March 5, 2019, equaling nearly 200 to 300 a day; and
Whereas, there are reports of young minors being trafficked multiple times by criminals who force them to act as the child of an adult seeking asylum, to gain entry to the country through the family detention process; and
Whereas, Arizona's nonprofit organizations and faith-based communities have, offered assistance to these vulnerable families; and
Whereas, our nonprofits and faith-based organizations are overwhelmed and running out of their finite resources to assist migrant families waiting for immigration court decisions; and
Whereas, immigration is a responsibility inherent to the federal government, and one which the state of Arizona has very limited resources and legal standing to address; and
Whereas, we are facing a security crisis, a potential health crisis, and most importantly a humanitarian crisis at the border, with Arizona and other border states picking up the financial and human costs.
Therefore, I, Representative Kelly Townsend, invite the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona to join me in calling upon Congress to act with whatever financial and legal means necessary to address our overburdened border and immigration system and to clarify, revise or change the immigration laws that have led to this crisis.