TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As the number of migrant children crossing the southwest border hits an all-time high, so has the number of families being dropped off in border cities across the state by U.S Customs and Border Protection officials.
The director of Casa Alitas, Diego Lopez, said a group from Yuma gets dropped off at the facility every other day; and as of now, a group gets bused there from Ajo each day, sometimes twice a day.
One mother who arrived this week says there was no other choice for herself and her 3-year-old boy but to leave their country in search of a better life.
“There is no future in Ecuador, no opportunity to make an income, or to give my son a better future,” said the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous.
She and her boy made it to the southwest border in Mexicali. After crossing they both walked the desert for hours before surrendering to Border Patrol agents.
“We came to the United States risking it all for a chance to live peacefully, without having to worry if something could happen to us,” she said.
She left behind her parents. Her goal is to find work in the United States and make a living.
“We come here to do and be something in life. All we want is a chance,” the mother said.
Lopez says about 80 people come through Casa Alitas each day. “We have a privilege, so many resources in this country and opportunities for somebody else, and not look at it as that mindset.”
Volunteers said that families stay at Casa Alitas anywhere from two to three days before going elsewhere in the United States.
That mother and her son will be heading to New Jersey to reunite with family, as she waits for the next step in her immigration case.