Tucson Helps Immigrants in Need, May Ask Obama to Curb Deportations

“The humanitarian crisis … is a local issue. It is a city issue.”
Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero on the right, Dolores Huerta on the left, and an unidentified man in the middle in this photo posted to Twitter by Ms. Romero.

Contrast with a certain Southern California town:

Stop deporting kids and tearing apart families.

That’s the message Tucson’s City Council could send to the federal government next week.

City Councilwoman Regina Romero is seeking a memorial imploring President Obama to suspend deportations of noncriminal immigrants.

She also wants the president to loosen the federal purse strings to help local governments deal with the influx of unaccompanied kids pouring into the country illegally.

With unaccompanied minor children overwhelming local facilities and resources in Nogales, and with immigrants being dropped off at the bus station in Tucson, Romero said the city needs to take a stand.

“All of these things are ever-present in our community,” Romero said. “But now more than ever we’re seeing the results of a broken immigration system and how it’s affecting the local community.”


Romero dismissed critics who say the council shouldn’t interject itself into a federal matter.

“The humanitarian crisis happening in Nogales, the people being dropped off at the bus station, and families being torn apart every day by our broken immigration policy — is a local issue. It is a city issue,” she said.


Read the rest here: City May Ask Obama to Curb Deportations

The Tucson City Council has been scrambling to meet the needs of these immigrants.

Undocumented women and children, who now spend up to three days stuck in Tucson waiting for a bus to take them someplace where they can await deportation hearings, may soon have a safer and more comfortable option.

The city is coordinating with nonprofit organizations, such as Catholic Community Services and the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, to set up an intake center near the downtown Tucson Greyhound Depot to provide the women and children with food, clothes and temporary housing as they transition through Tucson.

“Greyhound management has been patient as we worked to put these pieces together, but we can’t continue to let people sit at the bus station,” said Councilman Steve Kozachik, who arranged a meeting among nonprofits, representatives from the Ward 1 City Council Office and the Mayor’s Office to discuss a plan.


(Mr. Kozachik is an ex-Republican who became a Democrat over the issue of gun control.)

Tucson was visited by the First Lady of Guatemala, who came to assess the situation and thank the local people for their efforts.

Guatemala’s first lady, Rosa Leal de Pérez visited Tucson’s Greyhound bus station Wednesday evening to thank volunteers and city officials for reaching out to the Guatemalan women and children who are dropped off daily by immigration officials before continuing their journey.

It was part of Pérez’s trip to Southern Arizona this week to assess the situation of Guatemalans, many of them women and young children.

“I come as a woman, as a mother and as a grandmother,” she said outside the bus station. “I have grandchildren who are the ages of the children making the journey and it breaks my heart.”


Sebastian Quinac, of the Guatemalan Consulate, explains to Maria Gomez, 19, from Guatemala, how to read her bus ticket to Mississippi at the Greyhound Bus Station located at 471 West Congress Street. Gomez immigrated from Guatemala and was picked up in the Tucson Sector by Border Patrol. Gomez’s husband lives in Mississippi. Photo taken: Tuesday July 01, 2014. Photo by: Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star

I hope this lifts the spirits of folks who were horrified at the behavior of some hard-hearted people in Murrieta. There are good people all over, and compassionate choices available even in difficult times.

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