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Long-awaited federal funding coming to Arizona and other border states

Federal money is on the way to Arizona and other border states after Congress passed a long-awaited spending bill Friday.

President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion spending bill into law over the weekend. It includes more than $490 million to fund 22,000 Border Patrol agents, and also directs some $650 million to FEMA’s Shelter and Services Program.

Money from that  program is used by local governments like Pima County to fund efforts to assist asylum seekers released by the border patrol to await court hearings in the U.S.

Aid groups that are part of the initiative have long requested additional funds — as migrants and asylum seekers continue to arrive at the border in Arizona. 

Earlier this month, Pima County officials said aid groups in Tucson is helping some 1,000 people a day and without the funds, they’d be forced to shut down operations offering transportation, medical aid and short term shelter. 

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