Scottsdale hotel contracted by federal government to house migrants

Vacant hotel temporarily accommodates migrants seeking asylum in US

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – Families of migrant asylum seekers are temporarily staying at a hotel in Scottsdale, and it’s all part of a partnership the federal government struck with a Texas-based nonprofit in March.

As the southwest border began to see an influx of people arriving and attempting to cross the border, the immigration facilities where migrants are processed quickly became saturated.

To help alleviate the flow among asylum-seeking migrants, one of the many immigration processing routes a person encountered at the border can take, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has partnered with Endeavors to provide “Emergency Family Reception Sites (EFRS) along the southwestern United States. border.

These sites primarily provide temporary shelter and treatment services to families who continue to immigrate.

Under a $ 86.9 million contract, 1,239 hotel beds are provided to migrant families for a period typically less than three days.

“Without the additional facilities and services of the EFRS, the government will be seriously injured as it is currently not prepared to cope with the large influx of asylum seekers, which requires housing and the processing of applications for them. vulnerable populations ”, indicates the contract which was awarded. March 16.

The story:

Vacant Scottsdale hotel temporarily housing asylum seekers

The newest hotel to provide accommodation, transportation and medical care to families seeking asylum in the United States is in Scottsdale.

The property had been vacant for several months as it filed for bankruptcy and was in the process of obtaining zoning clearance to be turned into an apartment building, the Arizona Republic reported.

According to ICE, this new Scottsdale site is not for extra beds. It is still for that initial number of 1,239 hotel beds.

The federal contract specifically states that hotels in El Paso and Cotulla, TX, and Chandler, AZ would be in place at the start of the agreement, as well as in “other areas as needed.”

An ICE spokesperson said as long as there is a need for more hotel beds, up to 1,239 will be created in any area.

Concerns from some Scottsdale residents have forced the the city will issue a statement on Tuesday, stating in part “Scottsdale currently has no authority to prevent hotel rentals for these immigrant families.” “

The city also said it was made aware of a hotel contract in their community on Friday May 28. It is a day before the hotel begins to temporarily accommodate migrant families.

“Immigration is a federal matter, over which the city has no responsibility or oversight,” the statement said.

Police activity remained normal in Phoenix hotels housing migrants

The arrival of migrants at hotels in communities in the valley has also raised questions and concerns about police issues and crimes among some residents. But the statistics do not reflect any change.

12 News examined calls for service in the area of ​​the two Phoenix hotels where families began to stay as they continued their immigration procedures since April.

Phoenix Police data shows 911 calls are typical compared to the past five years in these neighborhoods.

It is legal to cross the border and seek asylum in the United States

A person can legally apply for asylum upon reaching the United States or arriving at a port of entry, which was incorporated into international law after World War II and passed into U.S. immigration law during the adoption of the 1980 Refugee Act, according to the International Rescue Committee. .

The IRC also says people arriving at the US border have the right to seek asylum without being criminalized, turned away or separated from their children, even during a pandemic.

The number of people encountered at the U.S. border by officers hit a 21-year high in March, where numbers remained stable.

Although April saw only a 3% increase, migration cycles indicate that the trend will slow down during the hot summer months.

The contract for accommodating migrants in hotel beds is due to end on September 20.

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