PHOENIX, AZ — In just three months, Phoenix-area churches said over 12,000 migrants have come through their doors, desperate for somewhere to go — and resources are getting thin.
“Is there any end in sight for you guys?” asked reporter Briana Whitney.
“We don’t see any time soon…ending this,” said Israel Camacho, a pastor in Mesa helping other churches in Phoenix, too.
Local pastors said ICE has not found a solution yet, which leaves the burden on churches to give migrants temporary shelter.
Saturday, 100 migrants were dropped off at the Alpha y Omega church in Phoenix, including a father and his 8-year-old son from Guatemala. We concealed their identities because they are in danger.
“Why did you leave Guatemala?” asked Whitney.
“I had a debt from before. Things weren’t going well in Guatemala. I received threats they wanted to kill me and my family,” said the man.
The two had been traveling by bus for nine days straight. He started to cry when he told us his son understands there are threats to their family.
“I feel a lot of pain for my son. I tried my best to make sure he doesn’t feel the fear and danger I feel,” he said.
They, like the other migrants, have forms and documentation with confirmation numbers so churches can keep track of where the migrants came from and what form of transportation they’ll take to their next stop.
For that father and son, they are trying to get to friends in Oakland, California, to start new.
“That’s my biggest desire right now, is my son goes to school and has a better life,” he said.
The churches said they’re in need of nurse and medic volunteers, and donations of over the counter medicine to keep people healthy, as the migrant crisis is far from over. They’re preparing for more migrants to be brought to the Phoenix area this week.