Feb. 17 (UPI) — Migrant-support groups around the Mexican border town of Nogales, Mexico, across from Arizona, are adding up to 700 more beds to help meet the demand of new migrants arriving at the border to seek asylum in the United States.
The Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” Migrant Protection Protocol has created a bottleneck along the border, the nonprofits have said, with the highest number of migrant arrivals in Nogales, Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo.
The advocacy organization Kino Border Initiative said last week it opened a new 19,000-square-foot center to accommodate more migrants on the Mexican side of Nogales. It adds shelter spaces for men, women and children and transgender individuals, and classrooms for job training.
“It allows us to better respond to the current needs of migrants in Nogales,” Kino Border Initiative spokeswoman Katie Sharar said. “And of course those will shift. There’s nothing that’s true about the border, but that it’s constantly changing. I hope it sends the message that they deserve to be comfortable, and they deserve shelter, food, education, medical care.”
U.S. immigration officials used Nogales to repatriate more than 30,000 migrants last year, alone, trailing only Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo.
One report said that some migrants in Nogales have had their cases heard in El Paso, leaving them to travel some 300 miles into Juarez. It forces them to travel through mountainous and dangerous territory just to get their day in court.