By Rafael Carranza

Arizona's congressional delegation is pressing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for more answers about the Lukeville port of entry closure.

Members of Congress want a timeline of when the Lukeville port of entry will reopen. And they want to deploy additional resources for Arizona border officials to process large groups of migrants crossing through western Pima County.

Border agents in southern Arizona have been processing about 2,500 migrants each day, overwhelming their resources. Customs and Border Protection on Monday shut down the Lukeville port of entry to reassign customs officers to help with migrant processing.

The announcement of the closure of the Lukeville port of entry, about 115 miles south of Phoenix, was met with uniform opposition by local, state and federal leaders in Arizona as well as their counterparts in neighboring Sonora.

On Tuesday, three Arizona members of Congress, Democratic Reps. Raúl Grijalva and Greg Stanton and Republican Rep. Juan Ciscomani, added their voices to a growing chorus of elected leaders demanding answers from the Department of Homeland Security about when the border crossing will reopen.

Grijalva, who represents the communities surrounding the Lukeville crossing, directed his letter to President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking for immediate assistance for southern Arizona.

He took issue with the way Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, handled the closing of the Lukeville crossing, calling the move "unnecessary."

"The small number of agents from Lukeville reassigned to respond will only make a marginal impact," Grijalva said. "The indefinite closure of Lukeville is a major disruption to the borderland communities I represent and many across the state of Arizona. I urge you to reconsider this closure and consult with local stakeholders including the Tohono O’odham Nation."

Ciscomani, who represents the other stretch of the Arizona border, and Stanton also issued a joint letter directed to Mayorkas. The two touched on the tourism and economic impact of the border closure, saying they had heard from concerned constituents, including people who owned homes in Puerto Peñasco and those who depend on the crossing for school or medical purposes.

Ciscomani told The Arizona Republic he and Stanton have worked together in the past, and the situation in Lukeville was another instance of the two finding common ground.

The Senate is still debating the supplemental budget request, but the funding for border security and management is tied to military funding for Israel and Ukraine. Those provisions have faced some backlash from at least some lawmakers. Most recently, Senate Democrats turned down proposals to limit access to asylum in exchange for the funding.

However, Stanton and Ciscomani both acknowledged that impact from the the supplemental funding request would be felt more in the long-term. They and Grijalva said more swift and immediate action was needed to address the situation in Lukeville.

There are some differences among them about how to best provide support for overwhelmed border officials in Arizona.

Ciscomani, who is more critical of the Biden administration's handling of the border, is calling on Biden to authorize the deployment of the National Guard to help border agents with processing. That is something that former Republican Gov. Doug Ducey did, but on a more limited capacity, during his last term.

For his part, Grijalva is calling on the Biden administration to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA to help Customs and Border Protection respond to the increase in migrant arrivals. He cited a similar effort by FEMA to help in 2021 with an increase in the arrival of unaccompanied children as precedent for a "humane emergency response."

On Friday, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and the state's two U.S. senators, Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., issued a joint statement criticizing the closure of the Lukeville border crossing. They also called on the Biden administration to send additional resources to southern Arizona.