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

Several juveniles were arrested after an alleged riot broke out at a behavioral center. (Facebook F...

Several minors arrested after alleged fight breaks out at Phoenix behavior center

A number of minors were arrested Saturday after a large fight allegedly broke out at a behavior center in Phoenix, authorities confirmed.

6 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: Initial reaction to Donald Trump rally shooting #news

Larry Gaydos and Joe Huizenga react to the Donald Trump rally shooting in a KTAR News special programming and question the type of security that could allow such an event to unfold.

8 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Servic...

Arizona politicians react to shooting at Trump rally in Pennsylvania

Arizona politicians quickly weighed in after the shooting at Donald Trump's rally on Saturday in Pennsylvania, which is being investigated as an assassination attempt.

10 hours ago

The Arizona Corporation Commission have been working to make sure that utilities have enough capaci...

Bailey Leasure

Arizona Corporation Commission working to ensure utilities hold up during heat wave

The Arizona Corporation Commission have been working to make sure that utilities have enough capacity to meet demand during excessive heat.

14 hours ago

FILE - Members of the Henderson Fire Department load Deb Billet, 66, into an ambulance before trans...

Associated Press

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths.

16 hours ago

(Mesa Police Department)...

Traffic fatalities in Arizona decreased slightly in 2023

The number of traffic fatalities in Arizona decreased by about 1% in 2023 compared to 2022, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


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.

Phoenix nonprofit providing phone kits to migrants released by ICE