Arizona governor candidate wants a new tent city on the border

Matt Salmon says he thinks a new facility would aid in the surge of migrants at the Mexico border.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 6:02 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Republican candidate for governor Matt Salmon wants the State of Arizona to pay for the construction of a new tent city in order to slow the surge of migrants across the border. Salmon outlined the proposal in an opinion piece he co-wrote with former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the architect of the original Tent City.

“Now is the perfect time to invest a down payment in a new Tent City pilot program that will pay significant long-term dividends in cost savings for our law enforcement,” the two Republicans wrote. The idea behind bringing back the tents, Salmon said, was to build a place that houses those suspected of crossing the border illegally who also committed crimes on the U.S. side of the border.

“Some of the crimes within the state can be as simple as criminal trespass and so we’re going to have to think outside the box,” Salmon said Monday. Arpaio first opened Tent City in 1993 as a temporary fix to overcrowded jails. The facility was closed down 24 years later by sheriff Paul Penzone, who defeated Arpaio in 2016.

During the time it was open, Tent City was a lightning rod for controversy with the treatment of inmates sparking lawsuits that cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Sheriff Paul Penzone shut it down after defeating Arpaio in 2016.