Immigrant Crisis in Our Own Backyard

Did you know that at the Benedictine Monastery and Tucson City Recreation Center hundreds of Central American refugees are being temporarily housed?

This has been going on for months but, oddly it has flown under the radar and is not a well-known fact here in Tucson.  It was only recently that I was having Tucson City Council Member Steve Kozachic do a promotional video for Rotary District 5500’s Campaign to be Title Sponsor of El Tour de Tucson when I learned about it.  Steve had just finished up a barbecue for the volunteers and refugees when we met.  The conversation with Steve revealed how compassionate he was to the plight of these non-English speaking immigrants who, for all intents and purposes, are dropped off by Border Patrol at local shelters like the Monastery.  It is only through the humanitarian effort and aid from volunteers and people like Steve, that the individuals are given nourishment, shelter, clothes, and safety.  These refugees are here briefly before they are put on a bus to somewhere in the United States where they have family.  The fact that most of them do not speak English and have endured unimaginable trauma in their home country and during their journey to Tucson is mind blowing.  These refugees are people too.  They should be treated as such.  The men and women volunteering their time to help these refugees feel like people and comfort them in what has to be an extremely terrifying experience, is applaudable.  These volunteers are unsung heroes and should be celebrated.  Thank you to all of the volunteers and to Steve Kozachic for putting politics aside, being a solution to the problem and, most importantly, extending a humanitarian hand to less fortunate people. 

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