Emilee Miranda, 13 News, 4 January 2024
As temperatures continue to drop in Tucson, they are also declining in Lukeville as hundreds of asylum seekers wait along the wall to be processed by border patrol.
For months, thousands of migrants have been arriving in the Tucson sector. Many of them are sleeping and staying near the border wall until they can be transported elsewhere by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. As the migrant surge continues, the fundraising coordinator for No More Deaths said they are concerned about the cooler temperatures.
“Lows are getting down into the low 30s coming up, and we’re seeing so many people who are in great danger of injury and death from exposure, so anything helps,” said Danielle, fundraising coordinator for No More Deaths.
Extended exposure to the could lead to hypothermia and eventually death. This is a concern for officials, especially when more migrants are arriving at the border unprepared for the winter months.
“People don’t even have proper shoes, or they’ve been on such a long journey that their shoes are in disrepair. We also see people not having warm clothing for the cold weather,” said Danielle.
No More Deaths and other organizations have taken it upon themselves to provide support.
“It’s really fallen into the hands of the community to make sure that there’s not anybody dying from exposure. So it’s a really dire situation,” said Danielle.
Danielle added that volunteers have been going down the border daily to help and distribute supplies. With the changing weather, there have also been days when they make two trips in one day.
“The area that we’re servicing most right now is in a very remote area where there’s not much infrastructure already in place,” said Danielle. “So there’s a lot less active organizations that are already in place to help them, which is why it’s such a big need.”
To continue helping the migrants, they ask for several winter items donations.
“The things that we most need right now are tarps. Emergency blankets as well as just regular blankets. Warm clothing is a huge need. Hats, gloves, rain ponchos for the wet weather.
Other items they are looking for include lighters and waterproof matches, along with hygienic supplies.