Ana Maria Moreno Portillo from Guatemala embraces her daughter after they were deported from the U.S., at the Kiki Romero Sports Complex in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Monday, April 5, 2021. The sports complex was adapted as a shelter because of the growing number of migrants being deported daily. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)
UPDATED 10:46 AM PT – Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Authorities in Mexico repurpose a gym in response to increased numbers of migrants being deported from the U.S. The growing number of illegal immigrants denied entry to the U.S. has forced officials in a city on the Rio Grande to find new places to house them as other shelters have reached maximum capacity.
The gym is meant to be a temporary shelter capable of holding 400 people.
“The situation has already overwhelmed us in terms of shelters, we must have a dignified place to receive them,” said Rogelio Pinal, a human rights officer in Ciudad Juarez. “To protect families who are on the streets, especially mothers with children.”
While children traveling alone are permitted to remain in U.S. facilities to seek asylum, nearly all single adults are expelled to Mexico. The circumstances have resulted in many families self-separating in Mexico to increase the chances of their children getting to stay in the U.S.