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PHOENIX – 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.