mmigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the City of Scottsdale it would be using a hotel to house intact, immigrant families on a short-term, emergency basis while they await processing.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a Scottsdale hotel that will serve as temporary housing for immigrant families. Beginning on May 29, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the City of Scottsdale it would be using a hotel to house intact, immigrant families on a short-term, emergency basis while they await processing.

That plan bothers some people in Scottsdale.

“We shouldn’t be letting them come in the country in the first place,” said protester Rick Jenkins.

The lodging plan is part of an $87 million contract with the faith-based nonprofit Endeavors. The contract will last through September 30, though the hotel rooms are intended to house people for 72 hours or less. That gives about 1,200 people a place to sleep while legal proceedings are arranged. Most immigrants will then move on to be with family members or hosts -- many of them out of state -- while they await a court date.

Scottsdale protest

“Do we know that they all have sponsors? Do we know that they have a place to go? Do we know that they’re actually going to show up for their court date? Or they’re just released and they’re on their own? Because that worries me for them,” said Scottsdale resident Leslie Miller.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich sent a letter to the hotel, asking it not to act as what he calls a “detention center.” He says a detention center poses a risk to public safety because the hotel is right next to apartments and a high school.

ICE says the housing is consistent with the law for the safety and well-being of children and their parents, who also get meals, access to medical attention, and transportation to their next stop while at the hotel.

“Why can’t we fit all these people into a government facility? Why do they need their hotels put everywhere with these people put in them?” said protester Millie MacMillan

“We have veterans that are living on the street and these people get meals catered and they get everything?” said Jenkins.

The City of Scottsdale posted the following statement on Facebook, pointing out that immigration is a federal issue, not a local one:

On Friday, May 28, the city was formally notified by U.S. Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement that a federal contractor would begin operating a temporary hotel facility for immigrant families beginning Saturday, May 29.

According to ICE officials in that meeting, this site is for intact families seeking political asylum who are being processed and taken to transportation as they continue their journey to a sponsor family or organization. The vast majority of people travel outside Arizona after processing.

According to an ICE statement, “The families that come into ICE custody will be housed in a manner consistent with legal requirements for the safety and well-being of children and their parents or guardians. Custody is intended to be short term, generally less than 72 hours, to allow for immigration enforcement processing and establishing appropriate terms and conditions of release while their immigration proceedings continue. All families will be tested for COVID-19 and receive a health assessment at these Emergency Family Staging Centers.”

A hotel has been rented to provide temporary hotel stays to these families during their immigration processing. Scottsdale has no current authority to prevent the hotel from being rented for these immigrant families. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the contractor who will operate the facility have provided assurances that they will be able to address any operational concerns that may arise.

Immigration is a federal matter, over which the city of Scottsdale has no responsibility or oversight. If you have further concerns, please contact your federal government representatives:

Rep. David Schweikert
Senator Kyrsten Sinema
Senator Mark Kelly
President Joe Biden

ICE also provided a statement to Arizona’s Family:

“Starting April 9 in Texas and Arizona, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will provide emergency temporary shelter and process families placed in its custody through a short-term contract with Endeavors. The border is not open, and individuals continue to be expelled under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) public health authority. 

“The families that come into ICE custody will be housed in a manner consistent with legal requirements for the safety and well-being of children and their parents or guardians. Custody is intended to be short term, generally less than 72 hours, to allow for immigration enforcement processing and establishing appropriate terms and conditions of release while their immigration proceedings continue. All families will be tested for COVID-19 and receive a health assessment at these Emergency Family Staging Centers.”


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