Casa Alitas Program - Aid for Migrant Families

The Casa Alitas Program serves migrant families who have left their home countries to escape violence and poverty. We provide hospitality and humanitarian aid, medical services, short-term shelter and help to reunite with family members in the U.S.

Program Overview

Most migrants arriving in our community are parents, children, and pregnant women from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Brazil, Haiti, Cuba, and many other countries. Most have traveled from their homes, through Mexico, to reach Arizona, a journey of several days to weeks.

In Arizona, the Border Patrol typically turns them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE provides them with documentation and orders to report to an immigration hearing.  Recently, the Border Patrol began releasing some families without going through ICE.  This has resulted in an increased number of families being released into the community who need our assistance. 

ICE or Border Patrol drops the families off at the Casa Alitas Welcome Center. Sometimes as many as 250 guests arrive at our hospitality centers in a day. 

Staff and volunteers greet the travelers and help them contact family members in the U.S. They may also help them to get a confirmation number for a plane or bus ticket, which family members have purchased.

Casa Alitas provides a safe place to rest, rehydrate, eat, and care for their children. We also provide a change of clothes, hygiene items, and a chance to wash up. As needed, volunteer medical providers offer skilled and caring medical support for our guests, assuring they are healthy enough to continue traveling to their families within the U.S. Through arrangements with the Pima County Health Department, all guests receive a COVID test and are offered a COVID vaccine as appropriate.

Families receive travel bags before they leave. Bags may include food, water, toiletries, hygiene items, diapers and baby food, if necessary. We also provide blankets and small toys for the children for the plane or bus ride. Bus rides typically last 2 to 3 days.

Travelers who are unable to leave immediately spend the night at one of our shelters, staffed by volunteers and Catholic Community Services.

We appreciate and rely upon your donations. Learn more about how you can help.

  • Oct 16, 2019, 16:37 PM