A border meeting today in Douglas with Senator Kyrsten Sinema painted a bleak picture for southern Arizona communities.

Federal migrant assistance money is running out, and the next steps are less than clear.

“Right now there is no plan,” Cochise County Director of Emergency Management Daniel Duchon told Senator Sinema.

No plan, specifically for what to do with the around 100 migrants who are being released in Douglas every day.

The buses are funded through federal dollars allocated to Pima County. The county announced on February 16 that they would run out of money to fund their assistance efforts on March 31.

Senator Sinema told the group of lawmakers, county and city workers, and law enforcement that help is unlikely to come from Congress.

To be honest I think its unlikely congress appropriates more dollars,” Sinema said.

Sinema, along with Republican Senator James Lankford from Oklahoma and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut attempted to pass a border bill earlier this month.

It never even made it out of the Senate as Republican lawmakers refused to bring it to the floor for a debate and Speaker Mike Johnson called the bill “dead on arrival”.

The border bill was also coupled with over $60 billion in funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Sinema said lawmakers want the border to continue to be an issue for the upcoming election.

There are folks in other parts of the country who continue to view this border crisis as a convenient political crisis, Sinema said.

When the funding ends, the issues along the border in Arizona, and in Douglas will still continue.

Right now $1 million a week is being spent on migrant assistance in Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties.

The price tag to continue the help would be too much for the counties and cities to bear.

Douglas Mayor Donald Huish is also concerned about what the cost of inaction will be for his border city.

We dont have a way to get them out of town, so it will be a major strain on our community, Huish said.

The funding, through FEMA, will run out March 31.