As the partial government shutdown stretched into its third week, Arizona 360 offered a closer look at the issue at the center of the stalemate on Capitol Hill: border security and immigration. A few days before the shutdown began, Lorraine Rivera traveled to San Luis, Arizona, and witnessed families from Central America crossing the border illegally to seek asylum, as well as asylum seekers who set up camps just outside the port of entry in San Luis, Mexico, to make formal requests with Customs and Border Protection.
With the current partial government shutdown among the longest in U.S. history, Arizona 360 learned about its impact in Arizona from Brint Milward, director of the University of Arizona School of Government and Public Policy. According to MIlward, approximately 10,000 federal employees in Arizona are either furloughed or working without pay. Milward discussed the more far-reaching effects of the shutdown.
"You have to remember all the people who depend on the federal government. There are people in private industry, there are people in nonprofits all over the United States whose paychecks actually come from the federal government because they do the federal government's work," Milward said. "In mental health, in health care and many other areas, this is the way we deliver services."
Among the effects of the partial government shutdown is additional strain on already-backlogged immigration courts. Most immigration courts have closed since the shutdown began. Arizona Republic reporter Daniel González discussed his own reporting on the issue.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus recently weighed in on border security before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration. He testified about stopping the flow of drugs into the U.S. and how current rhetoric surrounding immigration impacts his department. With Lorraine Rivera, he explained some of the points he raised.