Tohono O'odham Nation can't stop immigrants

Immigrants from Mexico and other countries south of the U.S. border continue to pose law enforcement, health and funding problems for the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Last year, more than 491,000 migrants were arrested after they used the reservation to enter the U.S. The figure represents more than half the arrests of immigrants in the entire country.

The influx has stressed the tribe's police department, which has to spend more money to deal with the issue, and the tribe's health care system, which is obligated to help those who ask. Some tribal members also complain about crime and environmental problems.

Federal and state funding is scarce so the tribe spends its own money to deal with immigrants. ''We're bending over backwards to help the United States, to protect the public and we're not getting any help,'' said Chairwoman Vivian Juan-Saunders told the Associated Press. ''If this happened in any other area of the country, it would be viewed as a crisis. But it's the fact that it's in Indian Country.''

Get the Story:
Tribe battles huge wave of immigrants (AP 7/22)

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