After years of renovations, a new migrant outreach center is nearly complete in Nogales, Sonora, offering nearly 50 times more space than the building it's replacing. Lorraine Rivera got a tour of Kino Border Initiative’s new facility ahead of its opening.
Kino Border Initiative executive director Rev. Sean Carroll told Rivera that the nonprofit successfully fundraised nearly $3 million for the new facility. Features include a dining hall that can seat 160 people, space to shelter dozens of people overnight and several offices.
“When a migrant is speaking with an attorney or talking about an abusive experience they can do that in the privacy of an office,” Carroll said.
Ever-changing patterns in immigration at Arizona’s border are woven into Kino Border Initiative’s history based on the people who walk through its doors each day. Years ago, staff and volunteers served mostly single men from Mexico who were deported from the U.S. These days they’re more used to aiding an influx of families from southern Mexico, and beyond, who come to seek asylum.
“I see the need continuing over time. And certainly with the current policies that are being implemented, and probably other policies as well in the future, that really I think disrespect the dignity of the people that we’re serving,” Carroll said.