MESA, Ariz. -- ICE is responsible for dealing with migrants who come to the United States to claim asylum, but there is only so much space available to the agency, and that's where a small army of volunteers comes in, as churches and other faith-based communities around the Valley are stepping in to help asylum-seeking migrants.
At a small church in Mesa, dozens of people sit quietly. ICE has run out of room for them, and they have been carefully screened. These people must, however, appear for asylum hearings, or face deportation.
The migrants say they fear for their lives back home.
"We're from Nicaragua," one man said. "Our family migrated from over there. The socio-economic situation the country faces is extreme. You cannot live in peace. We are being persecuted simply because of our political views. We fear for our lives."
Meanwhile, volunteers stop by to donate clothes for people who arrived in the Valley with nothing.
"I feel bad for them," said Frank Camarena. "They need a place to go and stay."
"I am helping out with my time, gathering resources, coordinate with other churches," said Victoria Irivarren. "We are desperately in need of a lot of things."
Another place that is helping out is the Central Christian Church in Mesa. Over a hundred migrants will arrive here. It will be a place linking those people with church families who will take them in briefly until they can move on to stay with their loved ones.
"Our hope is to be a hub where families come, we coordinate their travel, so their sponsor can get them from this location to that location," said Lisa McDonald.