JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Plans are in the works for a new migrant shelter in a neighborhood abutting the U.S. border, Juarez Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar says.
The shelter would accommodate up to 300 persons in transit, including children, and may replace the current Kiki Romero refuge in Central Juarez, the mayor said. In the past, some migrants have shunned Kiki Romero — a gym where bunk beds have been placed and portable bathrooms brought in — because it is not near the Rio Grande.
“It’s in progress, we still don’t have approval (for funding for the building) but things are going well and it’s possible we will soon have it,” Perez Cuellar said in a news conference. The city needs about $1.3 million to possibly turn an existing building into a facility with sleeping quarters, he said.
The announcement comes as thousands of migrants have converged on Juarez in anticipation of the termination of Title 42 expulsions in the United States. Some of those migrants are sleeping in tents next to Juarez City Hall, empty buildings, parks and sidewalks.
“We had been working on this; it doesn’t have to do with the current situation (migrants sleeping on the street),” Perez Cuellar said. “Kiki Romero (shelter) will continue to operate for now but migrant want to be closer to the border. […] Anapra is close to the border and also it would be good to recoup that gym (the Kiki Romero shelter) for our young people.”
The DIF child protection agency and the city’s Human Rights Office were tasked with crafting the project, which has been drafted but is awaiting federal funding, the mayor said.