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Pima County gets new round of FEMA money for migrant care

Pima County is getting a new round of federal funding to provide  medical care, temporary shelter and transportation to asylum seekers and migrants released by the Border Patrol in Arizona. 

Pima County has been providing aid to thousands of people who’ve been able to enter the United State and begin the legal asylum process. But federal funding for that effort was running out. 

Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik says the county has been trying to cut costs.

The reality is that there are some costs that are relatively fixed, and that we don’t have any control over, and what we really don’t have control over is when the numbers accelerate the way they have been over the last several months. 

Kozachik says things like food and transportation are expensive and unlikely to change. He says seven or eight buses of asylum seekers and migrants arrive at Casa Alitas shelter in Tucson every day. They stay for a day or two before making their way to join family or friends elsewhere in the U.S.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved an additional $5.2 million in funding for the county to continue those services.

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.