In Tucson, there has been a temporary immigrant intake facility set-up at the local Greyhound bus station. However, there are plans to move the intake center to a location that would better accommodate immigrants as they come through Arizona. The new location will not be disclosed in hopes that this will help avoid anti-immigration protests.
City Councilman Steve Kozachik referenced the recent demonstration in Murrieta as well as others that have started to come up in Arizona. They don't want to see these kinds of protests in Tucson. Along with being City Councilman, Kozachik works with Project Mariposa, “a group created to address the needs of immigrant families being released in Tucson with a notice to appear before an immigration official at their final destination.” The organization's name was derived from Casa Mariposa, which is a group that aids people who are discharged from detention centers and subsequently the undocumented women and children who were being taken to bus stations throughout the area.
Up until this point, the women and children from Central America have been transported to the bus station, but that will soon change. A new facility will open on August 1. Once the center opens its doors, immigrants will be taken to the location before being transferred to the bus station. The majority of the immigrants who are taken to the facility will be able to be taken to the bus station on the same day. However, there are some who wait up to three days.
The need for a new center is apparent to anyone who happens to visit the current, makeshift facility at the Greyhound station. The space is crowded with plastic tubs full of clothes, diapers and food. Volunteers have helped by making donations and aiding those who have been dropped at the bus station, but it is still not an ideal situation.
Catholic Community Services is providing the new facility, which will have “an outdoor fenced-in play area, more comfortable seating, a kitchenette and a more private setting for meetings with consulate officials.” More than 200 volunteers have been going to the bus station at various times because there is no set schedule when immigrants will be getting dropped off by federal agents. Although the task seems daunting, volunteer coordinator Sabrina Lopez, has been encouraged by the response from the community. “So many people have just been eager to help,” she said.
Kozachik is pleased with the large number of locals who want to volunteer and help these immigrants. However, he cautions that there is a risk that the new location could be leaked and that could negatively impact the good work they are doing. “These people protesting need to understand what the people coming here have been through,” he said. “They need to set their flags down, get on these buses and learn some of these stories.”
If you are dealing with legal matters related to your immigration status, do not hesitate to contact my office. We are happy to schedule an initial consultation in order to meet and discuss the facts of your case. My associates and I are here to help.