Proponents condemn the seizure of migrants’ belongings at the border

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PHOENIX — When migrants arrive at the US border to apply for asylum, they carry both the weight of their journey and the weight of their backpacks.

“I want us to close our eyes and think for a moment. What would you put in that backpack?” asked Pedro de Velasco, director of education and advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative.

He addressed a crowd of about 50 people who gathered at the First Church United Church of Christ in Phoenix on Thursday to call for action to protect the rights of migrants.

“What important items would you take with you on this journey to an unknown land, probably never to return?” said Velasco.

“You probably think of pictures of your children, of your loved ones. You probably think of letters from your family, from your relatives, words of encouragement. You probably think of prayers, the Bible, the crucifix,” Velasco continued. “You probably also think about basic needs. You know, your passport, your birth certificate, the proof of your (asylum) case.”

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