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Arizona has bussed 500+ asylum seekers from Yuma to D.C. during the last month

Two Indian migrants wait to be escorted to a Border Patrol van in Yuma, Ariz., Saturday, Feb....
Two Indian migrants wait to be escorted to a Border Patrol van in Yuma, Ariz., Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, after crossing the border illegally from Los Algodones, Mexico.(Elliot Spagat | AP)
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 5:56 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — New numbers are out for Gov. Doug Ducey’s program to bus migrants seeking asylum from Yuma to Washington, D.C. Since the program started in mid-May, 14 buses have taken 523 passengers from southern Arizona to the nation’s capital, according to the Governor’s Office. The state averages about two to three buses per week. The transportation will include meals and onboard staffing and support. All passengers volunteered to take the bus to the East Coast, with 70% of them being from Colombia and 15% from Peru, Ducey’s office said. Others were from Jamaica, Nicaragua and Russia.

The Governor’s Office didn’t have a cost estimate so far, but officials previously said it would be paid through the state’s Border Security Fund, which the Arizona Legislature created last year. Ducey said in a statement in May the program is necessary due to “little action or assistance from the federal government.” Ducey’s press aide told the Arizona Daily Star last month that the bus program is worth it. “It pales in comparison to the stress on local resources,’’ C.J. Karamargin said.

The Arizona bus program for migrants came just weeks after Texas announced a similar system. Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott said on April 6 that the state would charter buses to take migrants who have been processed and released from federal custody to Washington, D.C. The migrants volunteer to take the bus.