Shelter’s registration forms give portrait of asylum seekers

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A detailed snapshot of the recent surge of asylum-seeking families on the Mexican border gives a sense of where they settled.

Houston was the most popular destination, reflecting its emergence as a primary gateway for Central Americans and other immigrants.

Nashville, Tennessee, was more than twice as popular as Chicago. Small cities in the Texas Panhandle, Alabama and Tennessee also drew large numbers.

The findings are compiled by Tom Wong of University of California, San Diego. They are based on more than 7,300 families who stayed at a shelter affiliated with the San Diego Rapid Response Network from October to June.

Wong says in a report published Wednesday that nearly one-third of families had issues with conditions in U.S. government custody, many related to food and water.

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