When a monastery turned into migrant shelter

Crossing the Mexican - US borders for a better life
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Characters team Mar 13. 2019
by Characters team
Source: Reuters

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A monastery and a motel  are among pop-up shelters that have opened in the last six months in Arizona to house a rising number of migrants from Central America entering the United States to seek asylum.
In January, Catholic Community Services (CCS) turned to the American Red Cross for cots and blankets to equip the former Benedictine monastery in Tucson, Arizona, as a shelter, said CCS Director of Operations Teresa Cavendish.
 
 

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Τhere has been a dramatic shift in how migration is happening along the U.S.-Mexico border, with large numbers of families and unaccompanied children from the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador replacing mostly single adult men from Mexico who typically crossed the border illegally in the past.
 

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Τhe charity feared gangs and others in home countries and the United States might try to extort the migrants or their families if it were known they were in the United States.
 

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Adults are outfitted with a monitoring ankle bracelet on a case-by-case basis when they are held at ICE facilities in Arizona, according to ICE. Migrants are assigned an immigration court near where they will live. They can wait years for their asylum hearing due to a backlog in cases.
 

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While many migrants fleeing Central America have said they left their home countries to escape poverty, violence and crime, hoping to find a better life in the United States, often those reasons do not meet the high legal bar required to avoid a deportation order.

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