Albergue San Juan Bosco

Sergio Silva Rodriguez, left, and Francisco Javier Ramos Martinez, two deported migrants, rest in adjacent bunk beds at the Albergue San Juan Bosco migrant shelter in Nogales, Sonora on October 18, 2012. Both have sustained serious injuries to their backs while attempting to cross into the United States through the Sonoran desert from Mexico.

Rodriguez braces himself as he gets up from his bunk bed at Albergue San Juan Bosco after a brief nap. He received back surgery for broken vertebrae at University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz. after allegedly being tackled by a U.S. Border Patrol Agent near Sonoita. He says he was taken to Nogales by authorities in a van the day after his surgery. 

Rodriguez holds a letter from the Mexican embassy written in response to a statement he wrote about his debt situation with UMC. He stayed at the shelter for six months after he was deported with more than $35,000 worth of medical expenses to find a way to legally absolve his debts.

Rodriguez is one of many migrants who have attempted to cross the border multiple times. Here, two migrants study a map of the Sonoran desert in southern Arizona at Albergue San Juan Bosco. Crossing through the Sonoran desert can be extremely perilous for migrants, especially in the summer when temperatures can reach well over 110 degrees. 

A Saturday night mass is held at San Juan Bosco. The shelter is one of the many deportee shelters in Nogales, Sonora. At San Juan Bosco, shelter is provided to more than 50 recently-deported migrants for at least three nights.

Rodriguez prays next to a volunteer at Albergue San Juan Bosco during a Saturday night mass. Since he came to the shelter, Rodriguez has become close with volunteers at the shelter, often helping them complete chores despite his injuries so that he can stay at the shelter longer than the standard three days.

Rodriguez turns on a television in the chapel at Albergue San Juan Bosco for Martinez early in the morning after most migrants at the shelter left for the day. Rodriguez looked after Martinez as much as he could after he arrived at the shelter. "The truth is, it's hard. We both found ourselves in situations in which we couldn't even move on our own," Rodriguez said. 

Rodriguez shaves his face using a broken mirror in the men's restroom at Albergue San Juan Bosco. Rodriguez was a welder in Tecate and said he had family there he could live with, but he chose to stay at shelter to fight his case against Border Patrol. During his time at the shelter, he received financial assistance from his sister. 

Overall deportation numbers have dropped dramatically in the past decade, but the flow of deported migrants into and out of Albergue San Juan Bosco remains constant as it continues to serve as a safe haven for migrants. Rodriguez left the shelter unexpectedly after six months, presumably back to his hometown of Tecate. His case was still unresolved at the time. 

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