KGUN 9NewsBorder Watch


Pima County says migrant funding could last all year

The County will receive over $21 million from FEMA for migrant transportation and sheltering.
Migrant Funding
Posted at 5:11 PM, Apr 16, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County is receiving over $21 million for more migrant assistance from the federal government.

With border apprehensions dropping, there’s hope this money could last through the end of the year.

During the peak in December, over 2,000 migrants were being apprehended in the Tucson sector a day.

But as of last week those numbers have been cut in half, with Tucson Border Patrol’s Chief John Modlin reporting just under 7,000 arrests.

The migrant assistance has cost up to $1 million a week at the peak for local NGOs, but Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher says if numbers stay low the new funding will last longer.

"If the million dollars was a thousand or more people, and now we’re running at 500 we know we're at half a million, so we’re seeing where we can stretch," Lesher said.

Lesher said she was thankful Pima County was still top of mind as now more and more cities are asking for this FEMA funding.

“It became appropriate for those dollars to be spread to Phoenix, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles—away from the border but also communities that have been impacted," Lesher said.

While numbers are down from December, apprehensions still remain historically high.

The Tucson Sector currently leads all U.S. border sectors in apprehensionsfor this fiscal year with over 340,000.

Adam Klepp is a reporter for KGUN 9. At his previous station in Yuma, Adam focused on a range of local issues including the border, water rights and healthcare. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and attended both Loyola University Chicago and Syracuse University. Share your story ideas and important issues with Adam by emailing or by connecting on Twitter.