County rejects $1.4M federal grant tied to border security
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona county has voted to reject federal border-security funding with the board’s Democratic majority saying they don’t want the county involved in enforcing the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors rejected a more than $1 million Operation Stonegarden grant meant to help agencies along the border pay overtime and buy equipment to coordinate efforts with federal agencies to improve border security.
The county has received Stonegarden funds for more than a decade, the Arizona Daily Star reported .
It is believed this is the first time the money has been declined in Arizona, according to Sheriff’s Department officials and an Arizona Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman.
Sheriff Mark Napier said he was very disappointed in the decision.
“The funds are directed at the interdiction of drug and human trafficking organizations in Pima County and it allows us to work more effectively with our federal partners,” which contributes to public safety in the county, he said.
The department was set to receive $1.19 million for mileage and overtime and close to $238,000 for satellite data equipment and a wireless transmission device. In fiscal 2017, the four border counties in Arizona were awarded $11.8 million.
From fiscal 2008 through 2016, the federal government has allocated about $59 million annually, or $531.5 million in total, for Stonegarden, according to a November 2017 Office of Inspector General report on the program. But the idea behind it is to supplement existing state funds, not replace them.
Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com