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Influx of women, children crossing into US straining border counties' budgets

PHOENIX -- The wave of women and children from Central America into the United States is putting a strain on border counties, said a border group.

Carlos Aguilar with the US/Mexico Border Counties Coalition said border enforcement is a federal responsibility but taxpayers will likely be picking up much of the costs of dealing with the immigrants.

"It's an unfair burden on border counties, border states and border communities, Aguilar said. "Counties are not prepared to deal with the impacts of the undocumented immigrants flowing into the country and for years the federal government has neglected providing full funding for meeting their responsibilties regarding immigration."

The federal government provides funding for dealing with natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. The "national nightmare" on the border should qualify, Aguilar said.

"The Obama adminstration has said that they're fully aware of the problem but there hasn't been direct funding to these counties to meet the federal responsibilities," he said.

Aguilar is among those who believe President Obama should visit the border to meet with leaders who are dealing with the wave of immigrants.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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