Jul 8, 2014 7:22 PM by Lauren Reimer

Tucson groups react to Obama's request to spend $3.7 billion on migrant crisis

TUCSON - The White House wants to spend $3.7 billion on increasing detention, care, and transportation of unaccompanied children. Meaning shelters, like the one here in Tucson, might have more to work with.

So would immigration courts, and repatriation efforts.

But not everyone thinks putting more money into this is a good idea.

"He's the one that created the problem," said Pima County Republican Party Chairman Carolyn Cox, referring to President Obama. "And now he says 'You guys give me more taxpayer money to try to solve the problem I created.'"

She thinks expediting deportation and considering closing the border is the only way.

"I think the president is trying to take advantage of our humanitarian concerns because we are concerned about the children, we don't want anything bad to happen to them," said Cox.

Maryada Vallet, a representative from the local human rights group ‘No More Deaths,' isn't sure what to make of the request either, but for another reason.

"It's just spending money on a cruel and sometimes deadly game of chess, with people's lives, where you're moving around bodies, and you're not addressing why people are coming and the need for protection and care when they get here," she said.

She brings up the violence and poverty many face every day in Central America. She believes fixing those problems should be America's investment. "They're refugees, and we have a duty to protect them," said Vallet.

No matter the outcome of this request, this situation has re-ignited talk of national immigration reform. Whether that discussion will do anything to resolve this current crisis remains to be seen.


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