AZ lawmakers approve $8 million to keep busing migrants out of border towns

Published: Thursday, February 1, 2024 - 1:46pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 2:54pm

Arizona lawmakers approved $8 million this week to allow the Department of Military and Emergency Affairs to keep busing migrants away from border towns.

The money is part of a nearly $13 million budget transfer of DEMA funds. Those include $5 million in reimbursement to local law enforcement and nearly $2.5 million in border fence infrastructure.

The money comes with restrictions: it caps transportation costs at $60 per person being bused.

Republican Rep. David Livingston warned DEMA: "What we don’t want to happen is put two people on a bus that holds 60 and having to pay for it. So we needed some guidelines to make sure we’re being efficient. There wasn’t any guidelines before," he said.

The busing program accepts asylum seekers who’ve been processed by the U.S. government and they have to commit to leaving the border town they’re being bused from.

Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton: "We’ve got an opportunity to do something right now that is compassionate, that works for our communities and our districts our people and to those who are asking for a compassionate response."

Right now, DEMA pays about $40 per migrant bused away from the border.

FronterasImmigration Southwest Border