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ICE Opening Hotel Space For Asylum Seekers In Yuma

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is opening up hotel space to host asylum-seeking families in the Yuma area. It’s one of a handful of emergency shelters ICE has opened through a federal contract with the nonprofit Family Endeavors.

ICE announced a nearly $87 million contract with Family Endeavors in April to establish a series of these facilities in Texas and Arizona.

The Department of Homeland Security has faced criticism for its practice of releasing families directly into rural areas like Yuma after processing. Mayor Douglas Nicholls says this new space is expected to eliminate those releases in his city.

"They do understand the dangers of not having shelter and resources during the summer," Nicholls said. "So it’s my understanding that that will not be happening, which is a great thing for everyone involved."

Nicholls says ICE told his office the facility should be up and running in the next week and has the capacity to hold around 70 families. Endeavors will also be responsible for COVID-19 tests and transport.