If you’ve tried to book a room at the Suites on Scottsdale (formerly known as Homewood Suites) since May 24, you’ve probably been left frustrated. All the rooms are currently listed as “Not Available” through the rest of the year.
A normal person would likely assume that this is because the hotel is going out of business. But that’s not the case. Instead, the hotel was secretly converted into a makeshift migrant shelter by the Biden administration almost overnight.
In this recent shady move, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) paid “Family Endeavors” $86.9 million in a no-bid contract through September 30 to house more than 1,200 migrants at a time in Arizona and Texas. (And in case you’re keeping track, the group also received a second no-bid contract from the Biden administration for $530 million in April.)
That comes out to $352 per bed per day of your hard-earned tax dollars.
While hotel rooms in Scottsdale can certainly be expensive, those rates tend to drop significantly in the summer months. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to do a search that produces a long list of rooms (not just beds) available at hotels in Scottsdale for $75-$150 a night. That’s because people don’t usually flock to Scottsdale when the forecast says it will be 117 degrees on June 15.
But the outrageous no-bid contracts and extravagant bed rates aren’t the only problem.
ICE and DHS didn’t inform the city of Scottsdale about any of this until the day before. And while it’s still unclear if this arrangement is aligned with the franchise agreement and Scottsdale zoning codes, the location itself is a complete nightmare. This immigrant detention center is located next to an apartment complex and senior living facility, across the street from a residential neighborhood, less than a block from a high school, less than a mile from a preschool, and less than two miles from a middle school.
That’s right. The Biden administration didn’t see any issue with putting a low security prison on Scottsdale Road with easy access to children and the elderly!
But what do you expect? After all, this administration refuses to take any sort of responsibility for failing to control the growing crisis on the southwest border. And even though Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admits that, “We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years,” Vice President Kamala Harris still hasn’t visited the border.
Thankfully, some Arizona residents have had enough. Hundreds began protesting last week to share their concerns with the federal government. And they should continue to do so. It is vital to put pressure on the Biden administration to reverse this move.
But along with that, it’s also time to put direct pressure on our congressional delegation. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly need to stand up to the Biden administration and tell them to stop housing illegal immigrants in the middle of our communities with children, families, and seniors!
After all, flooding a suburban area with migrants not only poses serious public health and safety risks, but it signals to the rest of the world that our southern border is wide open.
Tell Senators Sinema and Kelly to stand up to the Biden administration and stop housing illegal immigrants in the middle of our communities.
“15 days to slow the spread.” Do you remember that? It was all the rage in the media in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’d hear it on news broadcasts. You’d see it in commercials. And you’d read it as you scrolled through the various social media platforms.
But it didn’t take long before those calls to “slow the spread,” became calls to “cancel everything.” And too many government leaders across the country bought into it by instituting huge lockdowns and other draconian measures.
Certainly, COVID was an issue that warranted some action, but it never should have included crushing small businesses or trampling on the rights of the people.
And yet, here we are more than a year later. The states with the most severe COVID restrictions are experiencing much slower economic recovery than those that fully reopened.
Blue states are struggling
California still has not reopened, despite being the first state to lockdown back in March 2020. Finally, after months of inconsistencies, confusing decisions, and hypocrisy from leaders like Governor Newsom, the state appears to be poised to fully reopen by mid-June.
But the outlook isn’t bright. Even with such extreme lockdowns and other measures, California still experienced a deadly surge from COVID. And along with that, its economy is in turmoil with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates at 8.3%.
Not surprisingly, there’s been a mass exodus from the state, causing it to lose a seat in the House of Representatives. And those that have remained are so fed up that they are trying to recall their governor.
But California is not alone. In a recent report, Michigan has been named as the state with the slowest recovery. Even Governor Whitmer couldn’t help but acknowledge that her radical measures, which at one point included prohibiting citizens from visiting family and friends, couldn’t stop COVID.
And then there’s New York, where Governor Cuomo’s COVID failures have been well documented. Just like California, the state also lost a seat in the House of Representatives due to a significant decline in its population. New York City alone lost approximately 900,000 jobs with a current unemployment rate of 11.4%.
But how do these blue states compare to our own?
Arizona is ahead of pace
Our own state certainly wasn’t immune to COVID restrictions. Governor Ducey issued a stay-at-home order for the people of Arizona in March 2020. But he stopped short of a full lockdown and other more extreme measures that destroyed the economy in states like the ones mentioned above. Instead, Governor Ducey opted for a more balanced approach, which currently places Arizona at #15 among states with the fewest COVID restrictions.
And although Arizona’s unemployment rate (currently at 6.7%) may be higher now than it was before COVID, experts remain optimistic that our state’s economic recovery will be quick. After all, this higher unemployment rate is largely due to the higher number of people seeking a job.
So, while there is still a long way to go to make a full recovery, the post-pandemic future in Arizona looks strong. And thankfully, it didn’t require any sort of recall to get there.
Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network
Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!
Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.