A new wave of Central American migrants is crossing the international border, seeking asylum from gang violence, and two Tucson-area churches are helping the federal government provide housing for those seeking a new home.

In 2014, a similar event overwhelmed the U.S. border-area holding cells for immigrants seeking protection from violence in their home countries. That year, the federal government contracted with private agencies to create temporary shelters to house people waiting for their asylum cases to be heard.

This year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials turned to United Methodist churches for help, and two in Tucson agreed to house immigrants once they were released from federal custody.

Find out more about this story from reporter Nancy Montoya in this episode of Metro Week, including video from inside one of the churches.

Also in this episode:

  • The town of Marana looks to 2017 as a year to accomplish some planned tasks, including building more traffic roundabouts and a wastewater treatment facility. Mayor Ed Honea says the town is in good shape.

  • In an effort to quash the city of Tucson's reputation as tough to do business with, the mayor and city manager are working with business owners to ease some processes. Caid Industries CEO Bill Assenmacher shares the progress of that effort.

  • The Arizona Legislature begins its new session next week, and reporter Christopher Conover details what Tucson, Pima County and other jurisdictions are hoping for during this session.