Editor’s note: The U.S. Border Patrol in Tucson confirmed last week that federal officials flew about 400 migrants apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to Tucson to be processed. On June 2, Gov. Jan Brewer wrote this letter to President Obama.
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I write regarding media reports that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is transporting hundreds, and potentially thousands, of illegal aliens from the south Texas border and releasing them at bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix.
As Governor of Arizona, I am deeply concerned about this troubling policy and the adverse impact on the illegal aliens, as well as to Arizona. It is especially disconcerting that DHS instituted this operation without any notification to my office, the Arizona Department of Public Safety or the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. We instead learned of this action from the news media.
Our nation and the State of Arizona face significant challenges stemming from your administration’s refusal to carry out its responsibility to secure our country’s southern border. State and local governments, law enforcement agencies, health care providers and nonprofit organizations are all stretched to the breaking point attempting to manage the enormity of these challenges. By systematically transporting and releasing more illegal aliens into Arizona, your administration will exacerbate this problem.
This unwarranted operation is another disturbing example of a deliberate failure to enforce border security policies and repair a broken immigration system. Media reports indicate that many of the illegal aliens that DHS is releasing into Arizona from Texas are women, children, and unaccompanied juveniles. The reports also indicate that DHS has abandoned these individuals at the bus stations without any food, water or basic necessities. I remind you that the daytime temperatures in Arizona during this time of year are regularly more than 100 degrees. Consequently, this federal operation seems to place expediency over basic humanitarian concerns. The federal government should not shirk its lawful responsibility to care for and properly process these individuals.
So that the citizens of our country may fully understand the scope and goal of this operation, I ask that your administration provide answers to me regarding the following questions:
1. Who authorized this policy, and why has the federal government selected Arizona as the target?
2. When was the policy initiated, and how much longer is the operation expected to proceed?
3. How many aliens have been transported from other states to Arizona and released through this operation?
4. How many aliens have designated Arizona as their ultimate destination?
5. How many aliens are designated as a “family unit,” and how many have been designated as “unaccompanied juveniles?”
6. What does the federal government know about the backgrounds and histories of the aliens being transported and released in Arizona?
7. What proactive steps is DHS or any other federal agency undertaking to establish emergency housing/detention space to properly process those aliens?
8. What has caused this massive influx of illegal aliens such that federal operations in Texas are unable to handle the processing of these individuals?
9. What is being done to secure the border in Texas to prevent the continued illegal crossings that have “forced” the federal government to transport illegal aliens from Texas and release them in Arizona?
In closing, I urge you to end this dangerous and unconscionable policy immediately, and instead take actions to fulfill the federal government’s fundamental responsibility of protecting our homeland by securing our nation’s borders.
Janice K. Brewer