Thursday, June 9, 2011

Arizona Daily Star/ La Estrella article

Newspaper article about our greyhound station hospitality with men and women just released from Eloy detention center...

Sí tenemos una cara amable para indocumentados: los voluntarios

Una noche, hace muy poco, dos mujeres, una de China y la otra de México, entraron a la terminal de autobuses Greyhound del centro de Tucsón. Se veían perplejas y cansadas, y cada una llevaba una bolsa transparente de plástico y un sobre grande color amarillo, además de algunas pertenencias personales.
No conocían a nadie en la prácticamente vacía sala de espera. Ninguna hablaba inglés.
Pero al cabo de algunos minutos, Vicki Kline y Jean Boucher amablemente recibieron a las dos temerosas mujeres...

Read the full article in Spanish and English here...

On a recent night, two women, one from China and other from México, walked into the downtown Greyhound bus terminal. They looked bewildered and tired, and each carried a clear plastic bag and a large yellow envelope, plus a few personal belongings.

They knew no one in the near-empty waiting room. Neither spoke English.

But within minutes, Vicki Kline and Jean Boucher gently greeted the two scared women.

The twoare volunteers who welcome immigrants released from the Eloy immigration detention facility. Five nights a week a government vehicle arrives at the Greyhound station, housed in a temporary building squeezed between Interstate 10 and the federal courthouse, and deposits the freed immigrants. They are released with the belongings they had with them when they were detained.

They are given nothing else but their release papers in the envelope.

That’s why a few Tucson volunteers with the Restoration Project have stepped in to offer assistance and, more important, a friendly smile.

“They’re free,” said Boucher.

Some of the immigrants require no assistance or don’t want help, said Boucher and Kline. Most do, however.

“Some people don’t know how to use a phone or don’t speak English,” said Kline.

The Restoration Project is a small, faith-based group which offers respite and hospitality to immigrants like María García. She was released from detention and looking to return to her New York City home.

Full article

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