KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Aid group seeks assistance as Haitian asylum seekers arrive in Phoenix

As hundreds of asylum seekers from Haiti continue to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border, aid groups say they're running out of resources to help.

Rodney Montreuil leads the Haitian American Center for Social Economic Development in Phoenix. Since Christmas Eve, he says he’s helped more than 100 Haitian asylum seekers book flights to connect with family in the U.S. after crossing the border and being released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention in Yuma and in California. 

"However minimal it is, we want to do something [to help] ... but we don't have the adequate resources," he said. "The shelters cannot take any more, so we don’t have any other options, but to ask for help."

Montreuil says he’s spent hundreds of dollars of his own money to help families stay in hotels while they await flights, but his group's funds are getting scant. 

He says many Haitians have spent months in transit before reaching the border and endured long waits in Mexico. And once asylum seekers reach the U.S., he says ensuring they have what they need will require more assistance from federal and local groups. 

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.