Arizona

Dangers faced by migrants often extend to border shelters

  • FILE - In this March 9, 2009 file photo, Rev. Sean Carroll, left, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, hands out food at the Aid Center for Deported Migrants in Nogales, Mexico. The dangers faced by migrants often extend to the shelters who try to help them. During a recent break-in, vandals left feces on crosses made by migrant men. Someone made a threatening call Carroll. Migrant shelters along the border face such dangers on a daily basis, although some say they haven't seen any incidents recently. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Benjie Sanders, File)

    FILE - In this March 9, 2009 file photo, Rev. Sean Carroll, left, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, hands out food at the Aid Center for Deported Migrants in Nogales, Mexico. The dangers faced by migrants often extend to the shelters who try to help them. During a recent break-in, vandals left feces on crosses made by migrant men. Someone made a threatening call Carroll. Migrant shelters along the border face such dangers on a daily basis, although some say they haven't seen any incidents recently. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Benjie Sanders, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 29, 2010 file photo, deportees pray as they gather for breakfast provided by the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The dangers faced by migrants often extend to the shelters who try to help them. During a recent shelter break-in, vandals left feces on crosses made by migrant men. Someone made a threatening call to a minister. Migrant shelters along the border face such dangers on a daily basis, although some say they haven't seen any incidents recently. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

    FILE - In this July 29, 2010 file photo, deportees pray as they gather for breakfast provided by the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The dangers faced by migrants often extend to the shelters who try to help them. During a recent shelter break-in, vandals left feces on crosses made by migrant men. Someone made a threatening call to a minister. Migrant shelters along the border face such dangers on a daily basis, although some say they haven't seen any incidents recently. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)  (The Associated Press)

A spate of vandalism and other threats has occurred this year at a soup kitchen for deported migrants in Nogales, Mexico, which borders Arizona.

The leader of the Kino Border Initiative-run center says the incidents likely are tied to the shelter's work helping migrants report crimes.

The incidents illustrate a border-wide problem of drug cartels that see migrant shelters as an impediment to their business. The shelters protect migrants who otherwise could be forced into smuggling drugs or extorted for money to enter the U.S.

The Rev. Sean Carroll, who heads the Nogales shelter, says migrants have increasingly told the center they were robbed or kidnapped by criminal organizations hoping to seize on attempts to cross the border.

He says staff and volunteers have escorted migrants to police departments and helped them file reports at least 10 times this year.