Phoenix nonprofit providing phone kits to migrants released by ICE

Apr 8, 2019, 4:15 AM

(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)...

(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — Churches and local groups have been providing food, clothes and shelter to migrants released by immigration authorities.

Now, a newly formed nonprofit is providing a different type of help.

The Last Mile is putting together phone kits for migrants to take with them on their way to meet with family members across the United States.

The phone kits include a prepaid phone with about 60 minutes of talk time. There’s also a sheet with common English and Spanish phrases to help migrants communicate along the way, and an envelope with stamps so migrants can mail back the phones once they reach their destination.

#thelastmileaz was on the scene again this morning as ICE dropped off more asylum seekers, many children, on the streets…

Posted by The Last Mile on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Jade Duran, president of The Last Mile, said migrants have expressed gratitude for the phones.

“You can see that they just want to make that first contact to their family that’s here in the states and say, ‘I’m here. I’m safe. I’m on my way to you,’” she said.

Duran said the idea for the phone kits came in December. She and a group of friends were at a church helping migrants seeking asylum who were released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That’s when Duran said she met a 19-year-old mother who was planning to travel by bus to Tennessee with her 2-year-old son.

“They were both sick, and it was really terrifying,” she said. “I felt super uncomfortable just dropping them off at the bus station and not knowing if they made it there.”

Duran said she bought the young mother a prepaid phone to take with her on the trip. She and her friends also bought more phones for other migrants.

“We were like, ‘Wait, why don’t we just do this for everyone?’” she said. “This is a key piece that’s missing of this process of ensuring that people are making it safely.”

After that, they started collecting donations and putting together the phone kits. Since January, they’ve provided 85 phone kits. They’ve also connected migrants with translators whom they can call if they run into issues on their way to meet their family members.

Duran said it has made a big difference.

“Everyone has been really happy to have a phone and to have a means of communication,” she said. “You can see it in their faces when we are handing them the phones. They’re just so happy to have this type of support.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A Phoenix Police SUV with lights on at a crime scene at night...

Phoenix police arrest 2 suspects linked to home burglary

Phoenix law enforcement arrested two suspects after a break-in on Saturday evening near 43rd Avenue and Northern Avenue.

2 hours ago

File photo of crime scene tape in Phoenix...

David Veenstra

Police investigating fatal hit-and-run collision in north Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a female pedestrian in north Phoenix on Saturday.

3 hours ago

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village. (MCSO Photo)...

David Veenstra

Motorcyclist dead after crash in Desert View Village, near Cave Creek

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village, near Cave Creek, according to authorities.

4 hours ago

World's Biggest Bounce House (XL Event Lab photo)...

Damon Allred

World’s Largest Bounce House coming to Phoenix for weekend stop on nationwide tour

The Big Bounce America is bringing its coterie of inflatable attractions to Phoenix this weekend, featuring eight inflatables.

5 hours ago

Singer Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant performs onstage during day two of the 2021 Pilgrimage Musi...

Damon Allred

Grammy-winning Cage The Elephant announces Phoenix stop during North American tour

Grammy Award-winning rock band Cage The Elephant announced a stop in Phoenix on its upcoming summer tour in conjunction with a new album.

6 hours ago

SkyBridge Arizona is an emerging business park in Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. It, along with othe...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Major aerospace developments near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport move forward

The skyline around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has some changes in store, including major aerospace develoments.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Phoenix nonprofit providing phone kits to migrants released by ICE