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Phoenix-Area Migrant Day Shelter Expects Busy Holiday Weekend

A Phoenix-area day shelter for migrant families released by federal authorities is expected to be almost completely full for all of Easter weekend. It’s a change from the past 10 days or so, when the shelter has, for the most part, had plenty of room.

Data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows that roughly 11,000 migrant family members have been released in metro Phoenix since early March.

The International Rescue Committee in Phoenix helps run the day shelter for migrants. Stanford Prescott, community engagement coordinator, said as migrants were dropped off in Yuma, where the mayor declared a local emergency this week, “there were reduced numbers arriving here in Phoenix. I can’t speculate as to why. But I can say that we had fewer folks arriving here over the past few days."

In general, federal authorities will release migrants to a network of Valley churches before calling on the day shelter, Prescott said. But it’s still the government’s decision where people ultimately go.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.