Central American immigrants now have a new place to wait for the - Tucson News Now

Central American immigrants now have a new place to wait for their rides out of Tucson

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Volunteers sort through items. Volunteers sort through items.
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Central American Immigrants captured in Arizona still are passing through Tucson, but one part of their journey is changing.

Federal agents still process them, give them orders to appear at an immigration office in the future, then the immigrants are allowed to take a bus to family in the United States.

Starting Friday though, the immigrants were not waiting at the Greyhound Bus Station in Tucson for their rides.

Catholic Community Services, or CCS, is moving, what it calls, the hospitality center to a new, undisclosed location.

CCS Volunteer Coordinator Mike Gutierrez says Greyhound committed to a specific amount of time to provide space at the depot for the immigrants to wait for their buses, but that time has ended and it's time to move.

The new hospitality center is not at CCS offices, but at an undisclosed location.

Gutierrez says that's to give the immigrants, mostly women and children, some peace and quiet after all they've been through, and not because the agency is worried about protests.

"We haven't really seen that in this entire time. We haven't seen those kind of protests show up here. So that hasn't been really part of our concern. I imagine, it's possible, but the community as a whole hasn't really demonstrated that they want to protest this effort," Gutierrez says.

Gutierrez says after the immigrants go through federal processing, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, transfers them.

"So ICE will pick them up and will transfer them over to--what was Greyhound--now it's the new location," Gutierrez says.

He says volunteers will give the immigrants the same service they got at the bus station.

"We'll give them some time to relax. We'll give them something to eat. We'll give them a chance to rummage through some clothes and get some clothes if they want to change clothes, diapers, give them a travel bag," Gutierrez says.

Then volunteers take them to the Greyhound station for the next leg of their journey.

Gutierrez says the number of immigrants Catholic Community Services serves has stabilized, averaging about 15 people a day.

Upstairs at CCS, staff and volunteers sort through the diapers, water bottles, snacks and other items our community has donated to help the immigrants who make a stop in Tucson.

Gutierrez says the community has been generous.  He says donations have even come from California.

He says CCS will continue collecting donations for the immigrants at 140 West Speedway.

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