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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 care, 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 and El Salvador. 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 a Casa Alitas hospitality center. As many as 240 travelers have arrived at our hospitality centers in a day. 

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 bus ticket, which family members have purchased.

We provide 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.

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 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.

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