Arizona AG urges hotel owners not to let ICE convert the property to house 1,200 migrants
Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich urged property owners not to contract with immigration officials to detain around 1,200 migrants at a hotel property in Scottsdale, Arizona, in a letter sent Wednesday.
Brnovich criticized the Biden administration for its handling of increasing migration to the southern border and said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shouldn’t be permitted to convert the property into a 72-hour detention facility because of possible negative effects on the neighborhood.
“The President is using Arizona as an experiment with his reckless border policies,” Brnovich told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I will continue to stand up for Arizonans and do everything I can to stop the Biden Administration’s attempt to abolish ICE. All of us will pay the price, not only with our tax dollars, but with our national security and the safety of our families.”
Today I sent a letter to relevant parties urging them to reject a proposed contract with DHS that converts a Scottsdale hotel into an ICE detention facility for up to 1,200 migrant adults and children.
See my statement below.
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) June 2, 2021
The migrants housed in hotels in the area are enrolled in legal immigration proceedings, an ICE spokesperson reportedly told KNXV Phoenix.
Brnovich and the property owners are concerned about potential risks to public safety if a dangerous migrant was able to leave the detention facility or if any of the migrants are released into the community, according to the letter. Brnovich also criticized the Biden administration’s decision to limit ICE enforcement to serious criminals creating the possibility that those who have been charged but not yet convicted could be released.
“The root-causes of the current crisis are problems of the Biden Administration’s own making, including policies that have administratively — and intentionally — crippled ICE’s important law enforcement mission and incentivized illegal immigration,” Brnovich said in the letter.
Brnovich added that the local government should study the potential impact of the detention facility given its proximity to apartment complexes, senior living facilities, and a preschool and high school.
The property owner would likely profit from the federal contract but would require the property to be rezoned or granted a variance, according to the letter.
The owners signed an agreement with nonprofit group Endeavors, which contracts with ICE, the Arizona Republic reported. Endeavors spokesperson Ben Miranda said the agreement with ICE is being finalized and that the property will function as an “emergency family station center” for migrants.
The property owners filed for bankruptcy and have defaulted on mortgage payments, according to the Arizona Republic. The mortgage company filed a lawsuit to try and keep the property from becoming a detention facility citing zoning restrictions.
Endeavors plans to match migrants at the facility with sponsors in the interior of the U.S. and fund their transportation to meet with them, Miranda told the Arizona Republic. He added that ICE officials will provide security at the property and migrants won’t be permitted to leave.
Endeavors previously secured a $530 million contract with the federal agency responsible for detaining unaccompanied migrant children after hiring a former ICE official and Biden transition team advisor, the DCNF reported.
Neither ICE nor Endeavors responded to the DCNF’s request for comment.