News 11's Crystal Jimenez talks to asylum seekers about why they make the long, dangerous journey to the U.S.
YUMA Ariz. (KYMA/KECY) - Border Patrol Agents have been overwhelmed the last few months, apprehending hundreds of undocumented immigrants daily. Meanwhile a band of non-profits have taken the initiative to help asylum seekers who are released into the U.S. Many are claiming to be running away from violence.
"Groups of buses or vans pretty much any type of mass transportation being driven down the Mexican highway and dropping off the individuals at a certain staging spot and at that spot then they're crossing into the river corridor where the vehicle barriers are," Vincent Dulesky said, from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
8% of asylum seekers have been released in the Yuma Sector.
Almost 90 miles from the Mexicali border lies Mecca California where a non-profit answered a call for help. The Galilee Center helps house some of these asylum seekers released from Yuma and El Centro Border Patrol custody, but not until they're tested for COVID.
"The minute they walk into our doors, it's kind of a sign of relief. The two immediate needs they have is for a meal and immediately after for a shower. And it's amazing what a difference a shower can make. Then that's when the process, speedy process of making arrangements for traveling begins," Claudia Castorena said who is the Galilee Center Co-Founder.