Interstate Transfer of Undocument Immigrants

More bus loads of immigrants are being dropped off at Phoenix bus stations.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, said in a letter to President Barack Obama that thousands of immigrants from south Texas are being transported to bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A local news outlet is reporting that Arizona is the only state in which immigrants are currently being shipped.  Apparently, immigration holding facilities in south Texas are overflowing and are seeking relief. “Everyone was packed in like sardines. Too close to sleep. They came in the middle of the night to drop off bread and bang on the doors,” and then loaded onto a bus headed for Phoenix. Xiomara Maldonado, a passenger on the DHS bus, told ABC15.

There are many humanitarian issues surrounding the transportation.  First, the immigrants do not have anywhere to go when dropped-off at the bus stations in Phoenix and Tucson.  There was no prior coordination between Texas, Arizona or the Federal government on a protocol.  Arizona officials claim they had no prior knowledge of the transportation, whatsoever. It is “especially disconcerting that (the United States Department of Homeland Security) 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.” Governor Brewer wrote in her letter.
Second, when immigrants are dropped off in Arizona, no food water or shelter is arranged, which is especially dangerous because there have been excessive heat warnings for the last several days.  Local charities and volunteers are trying to help in any way possible.

My problem is the kids, it’s getting hot and you just dump them off at the bus station? Who’s going to take care of the kids? Is that humane? No it’s not humane.

— Mariciopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told Fox 10 news.

While driving in downtown Phoenix yesterday, I saw one of the DHS buses…going somewhere.  News channel Fox 10 in Phoenix later saw the same bus dropping off immigrants at a bus station.

Ice Transfer of Undocumented Immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona
Department of Homeland Security transfer of undocumented immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona, June 3, 2014.

It is unclear at this time what are the legal implications.  Setting aside jurisdictional issues, what happens if someone is hurt or injured because of this process?  With buses arriving daily, it appears that it is a new policy or custom of DHS made at a higher level and not just some rogue employee calling the shots.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer letter to President Barack Obama

Fox 10 News – Sheriff Joe Speaks Out; DHS Continues Immigration Drop

ABC 15 News – Transfer of Undocumented Immigrants


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