Its no secret that federal money used to assist asylum seekers entering the country is running dry. Here in Tucson, city leaders are adamant that the federal government fix what theyre calling a federal issue.

“Were hopeful that the federal government will step up and provide funding to assist these asylum seekers,” Lane Mandle, chief of staff for the city manager, told KGUN 9 during a Tuesday council meeting to provide an update on aid for migrants.

City officials said during the meeting they anticipate federal funding will run out by March 31.

City Manager Michael Ortega said, “The lack of a federal solution means the local government is forced to deal with this.”

Meanwhile, all eyes are on Capitol Hill as lawmakers work to avoid a government shutdown by Friday as funding for the Department of Homeland Security holds up negotiations.

“We dont know when its going to pass and how its going to be distributed,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero.

DHS will play a key role in potentially securing new funding for counties like Pima County, which have processed nearly half a million migrants since 2019 according to a Pima County spokesperson.

Mandle added that they will not and “cannot use City of Tucson taxpayer dollars for this effort.”

With the city officially awaiting the next move in Washington, D.C., migrant shelters like Casas Alitas told KGUN 9 on Monday that theyre preparing to move forward the best way they can.

“Im hoping for a miracle. Im praying we see some things align,” said Casas Alitas Executive Director Diego Lopez. “Its going to take an effort from a lot of different communities to make this work.”

A Pima County spokesperson told KGUN 9 on Monday that because contracts between the county and shelters like Casas Alitas will stop by the end of the month, even if the federal government can secure additional funding, the question then becomes how fast they can disperse that money.