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How Arizona communities have been affected by end of Title 42



Casa Alitas, a welcoming center for migrants within walking distance from the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry, helps migrants coming in with food and resources.

NOGALES, Ariz. — Emergency crews and organizations in Nogales continue to help migrants seeking asylum a year after Title 42 ended.

Title 42 is a public health order that allowed U.S. officials to turn away migrants who came to the U.S.-Mexico border on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

Sobeira Castro, director of emergency management for Santa Cruz County, said that though Title 42 ended on May 11, 2023, the county’s emergency management didn’t get involved until September 13, 2023.

Between May 11, 2023, and September 12, 2023, Castro said Border Patrol was escorting migrants via bus or shuttle to a location within city boundaries.

Castro said they had “never dealt with any migrant emergencies” but said they were able to set up a table by the border to help provide migrants resources. Pima County ended up helping Santa Cruz County with staffing through an agreement under a federal grant and it has helped them throughout most of the operation.

“Border Patrol is still processing individuals. It’s a range of maybe 2- 300 per day,” Castro said. “And the only thing that we’re currently doing right now is transportation.”

RELATED: Many people still ask if Yuma is safe after Title 42’s end. Here’s what residents say

Castro said they’ve started to see a wider range of nationalities and more families seeking asylum.

“At the beginning, we used to see a lot of people from India, from Africa. Now we’re seeing a lot of people from Russia,” Castro said. “We believe this is an ongoing issue and we as a rural county do need help from the federal government.”

Castro emphasized there was a specific need for shelters in the county since most migrants have to be transported to other counties.

“At the end, this is a federal issue, and we need help, not only, not only with assistance but also seeing the overall picture of the impact that happens within a rural community,” Castro said.

Right now Casa Alitas, a welcoming center for migrants within walking distance from the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry, helps migrants coming in with food, resources and guidance.

One Venezuelan woman at the center said she had traveled for an entire month with her friend and daughters through Colombia, Panama, and then through the Darien Gap, a treacherous stretch of land straddling the two countries.

Another man from Cuba arrived in Nogales Tuesday night with his father-in-law and said one of the reasons he left his country was due to a lack of freedom to express his thoughts without fear of persecution.

Castro said after migrants are seen through Casa Alitas, they’re bused to shelters within the state and will then go to their final destination.

The Border

Get the latest news and updates on the 12News coverage of the U.S./Mexico border.

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