JUAREZ, Mexico — The State of Chihuahua is building a new shelter here for migrant families and unaccompanied minors.
This temporary refuge is already under construction south of the market district in Downtown Juarez. The facility is an alternative to existing shelters that don’t have adequate services for children, state officials said.
“We are remodeling an old clinic, formerly known as Hospital Civil Libertad, to accommodate migrant children,” said Roberto Barraza Ornelas, deputy director of Public Works.
The shelter is being built at a cost of $390,000 and will include nine beds for boys, 11 for girls and five rooms for families. Each area will have its own bathroom and shower, Barraza said.
The facility is also being equipped with a medical examination area, a kitchen, a dining room, a laundry room, offices for psychologists and social workers, and a playground.
Construction is expected to wrap up July 15, Barraza said.
News of the shelter come just after Mexico agreed to take in more migrants returned from the United States under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
With about a dozen privately-run shelters already running at full capacity, new shelters are welcome, Juarez officials say.
Mayor Armando Cabada estimates that between 6,000 and 8,000 Cubans, Central and South Americans remain in the city either waiting for an asylum appointment in the United States or already having been returned.
The mayor expects that number to double in coming months, as the United States expands its use of MPP, as part of a June 7 agreement with Mexico, which was facing commercial tariffs by the Trump administration if it didn’t help solve the current immigration surge at the border.