Mesa Mayor Giles wants feds to step up aid of dropped-off migrant families

Apr 2, 2019, 9:00 AM | Updated: Apr 4, 2019, 9:08 am

PHOENIX – For more than six months, Mesa Mayor John Giles has seen his community do its best to help the surge of Central American migrant families dropped off by federal officials.

Thousands have been released from detention centers then sent by bus to the East Valley’s largest city. They have been housed, fed and cared for by various churches and their congregations.

“That’s not sustainable. These great volunteers … are past the breaking point,” Giles said Tuesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

A roundtable discussion in Phoenix hosted by Sen. Martha McSally on Monday offered “some hope that there’s a long-term solution being discussed in Washington, D.C.,” Giles said.

“We need the federal government to understand this is their responsibility and they’re shirking it.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also dropped off large groups of migrant families in Phoenix and Yuma.

Giles, Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls and federal immigration officials and representatives from the nonprofits that have been helping the migrants attended the meeting in downtown Phoenix.

“This is a difficult issue and a lot of people are running away from it as opposed to running toward this fire,” he said of the gathering.

McSally wanted the meeting to serve as a launching point to improve coordination related to the releases.

“I would say there were positive things that came out of the meeting,” Giles said.

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Mesa Mayor Giles wants feds to step up aid of dropped-off migrant families