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Tucson opens door to immigrant children

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It's likely some of the hundreds of immigrant children being warehoused in Nogales will soon arrive in Tucson.

City planners granted a waiver of zoning rules to allow the children to be housed at College Place on Oracle Road.

But it took a while.

"Our planning department went from yes to no to yes temporarily in three days," says Ward VI city council member Steve Kozachik. "We finally have it, good."

When they will arrive and how many are still unknowns but it has been described as soon. 

"This is a humanitarian emergency," says Ward I council member Regina Romero. "It is imperative as a city that we move swiftly."

Workers from Southwest Key, a non profit agency from Texas which houses immigrant children, worked throughout the day to get the hotel ready for arrivals.'

The group stationed a guard at the front entrance to keep media off the property and refused to answer any questions.

Kozachik believes the military bases in Southern Arizona may be the answer.

"They're like a small city with all the amenities," he says.

He also suggested empty TUSD schools "but that's only a temporary solution."

The price tag is being picked up by the federal government.

"This isn't costing us a penny to move fast," says Romero. "The permits are being paid for by Southwest Key."

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