Tucson officials learn more about planned migrant facility

TUCSON, Ariz. — A tent-like facility that the federal government plans to set up in Tucson to temporarily house migrants will be located near the city’s airport and be completed in about a month, a Border Patrol official has told the City Council.

John Modlin, interim head of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector said Friday in an email that the facility will be designed to hold 500 people but “with COVID considerations and with restrictions from litigation, our capacity will likely be approximately 150-200,” the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The “demographics of the in-custody population will of course also impact our capacity,” Modlin said.

Councilman Steve Kosachik said the planned facility likely will hold unaccompanied minors encountered by the Border Patrol.

Local officials had said in March that the federal government was considering Tucson as a site for a tent-like facility to house unaccompanied migrant children and families after the Border Patrol gives them court dates and releases them into the U.S.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s office said Friday that the Arizona Democrat was told by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that it would use hotels in cities in border states, including Phoenix and Chandler in Arizona, to house migrants.