Tucson Groups Prepare To Move Migrant Intake From Greyhound Station

By Kate Sheehy
July 14, 2014

Women and children migrants wait outside of the Greyhound bus station in Tucson.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Community leaders and humanitarian organizations in Tucson have been working together to manage the arrival of migrants from Central America. At the Greyhound Bus Station where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement drop off migrants, volunteers administer supplies, transportation and temporary housing. Now they need to move their operation elsewhere.

About 30 to 40 migrants arrive daily at the bus station in Tucson, almost all of them women and children from Guatemala. Tucson City Councilmember Steve Kozachik’s office has been involved with meeting the needs of people as they get off the bus.

“We’ve turned it into an intake center. Quite frankly, the Greyhound folks have said you know, we’re compassionate, we understand the need, but we also have a business that we need to operate,” Kozachik said.

He said they have to be out of the Greyhound station by the end of the month.Catholic Community Services is preparing one of their facilities to be the new intake center. In the meantime, Kozachik said their work at the station has been restricted and he met with Greyhound to discuss limitations placed on volunteer shifts.

Kozachik said many people in Tucson are giving their time to help with the influx of migrants.

“The residents of this city are saying 'we’re going to offer, to the extent that we can, a compassionate hand to get you through to your next stop,' that’s what this city should be proud of,” he said.

CCS does not yet know when they will be ready to start accepting migrants at their facility. The organization said it will provide more security and structure than the bus station, until migrants can continue on their journey to reunite with family.

Community groups in Phoenix have also been meeting migrants at the Greyhound station, but taking them to other locations for processing.

Greyhound said there are guidelines for volunteers in Phoenix as well.