Phoenix (AZ), .- Several Arizona churches petitioned the state governor, Doug Ducey, for a centralized shelter for migrants who are left adrift upon being released by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) outside the terminals. buses
Israel Camacho, pastor of the New Hope Church in Mesa, Arizona, told Efe Monday that he had a meeting with representatives of the governor in which several churches expressed the urgency of having a space to house hundreds of migrants left in trucks. and “without orientation” outside the terminals.
“We ask that the state provide a property, churches can take care of food and logistics through donations, but what is urgently needed is a centralized shelter where migrants can be taken and do not stay in the streets” commented the pastor.
“The authorities know what is happening (…), they have to do something because this can become a health problem and can be lent to crime,” Camacho said and said his congregation had to reopen the doors before the need for accommodation.
“We already received a group on Friday and we helped on Saturday afternoon another, but it is necessary to put pressure on the government to act, so we expect an answer this week,” he said.
Immigration officials left about 300 migrants between last Saturday and Sunday at the Greyhound bus station in Phoenix, so volunteers and church leaders said they were “overwhelmed” by the lack of coordination by ICE and the lack of coordination. of spaces to channel the liberated.
Arizona churches saturated with thousands of immigrants seeking asylum “freed” by immigration authorities have had to close their doors for two weeks due to reduced donations.
Camacho explained to Efe last week that since October these churches have received an average of 41,000 immigrants, mostly Central Americans.
He calculates that the cost for each group of 75 to 100 people is 800 to 1,000 dollars for two days of shelter, food and even cash assistance to help them in the process of reunification with family or friends across the country.
For years, ICE has placed migrants in Greyhound stations, especially in Phoenix, after releasing them but with pending court hearings.
From the stations, migrants could travel to their intended destination within the country.
But last Friday, bus company Greyhound Lines Inc. announced that it no longer allows immigrant families to remain inside the premises until they obtain a ticket.
Immigrants who are released by ICE generally do not receive prior notice and can not make travel arrangements until they arrive at the station. Most of them do not have money and must wait for a relative or support group to buy their ticket.
“Officials have to see this as a problem, all those people sleeping on the streets and without eating requires help,” said the pastor. (EFEUSA)