Rep. Grijalva Sends Letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris, Urges Formal End to Border Wall and Militarization of Border Communities, Presses for Humane Solutions to Help Asylum Seekers

April 27, 2021
Press Release

TUCSON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris regarding the current situation at the border. Instead of more troop deployments, militarization, and border wall construction, he instead advocated for more federal funds to nonprofits, cities, and counties to assist asylum-seeking families.

“For too long, we’ve seen inflammatory rhetoric and political opportunism continually impede efforts to address the balance between security, humanitarianism, and legal processes that the border desperately needs,” wrote Rep. Grijalva. “Without taking urgent action and implementing a multi-pronged approach to address the myriad of issues at the border; human desperation, hopelessness, and fear will continue to dominate immigration issues.”

“As non-governmental organizations, counties, and cities continue to assist, I ask that federal funds be designated so these entities can immediately access them and continue helping asylum-seeking families,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “These entities have the expertise and desire to support these families. The millions of dollars designated towards the DHS soft-sided detention facilities and hotel beds and related services to provide for Emergency Family Reception Sites (EFRS) ignore the community-based options for asylum-seekers that have the proven reputation, demonstrated success, and capacity to collaborate with the federal government to address this ongoing challenge.”

In his letter, Rep. Grijalva urged the Biden Administration to include border communities in environmental mitigation plans, immediately cancel border wall contracts, divert existing funds to mitigate the most egregious damage from the border wall, and remove all military personnel and equipment from border communities.

“While Governor Ducey continues to militarize the southern border with his latest politically-motivated deployment of the National Guard, it is imperative that asylum-seeking families are not met with guns and troops,” he wrote. “This deployment is a waste of taxpayer dollars and does nothing to address the needs of these families and those assisting them. It is unfortunate, though not surprising that Governor Ducey has decided to take unilateral action without consulting with the various local officials on the current needs of border communities.”

Click here to read the full letter.

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