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Migrants Released At Phoenix Greyhound Station Wednesday

Roughly 15 migrants just out of detention were dropped off at the Phoenix Greyhound bus station Wednesday.

A security guard put shackles into a van parked in the bus terminal's parking lot. To his right stood migrants who just wore the chains.

Asylum-seeker Lazaro Gutierrez re-laced his shoes, put on a belt and said he’s Miami-bound.

“(I’m) fleeing the dictatorship in Cuba,” he said in Spanish.   

Gutierrez said he crossed the border into Arizona and spent two weeks in detention.

The number of migrants released in metro Phoenix has grown in recent weeks. But the pandemic reduced the local migrant-aid effort, including at a temporary shelter where capacity is lower to keep people safe.

New data show the number of migrants encountered by Border Patrol agents rose by nearly 30% in February.

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.