Hammouda and Shaaban sit in a small room at an immigration detention center in Eloy, Ariz.
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The Palestinian men had traveled across the world to escape bloodshed and torture in their homeland, and desperately phoned a friend in Canada to wire them money so they could finish their trek.When they showed up at the U.S.-Mexico border in November 2014, Hammouda remembers seeing the American flag, and feeling relieved.The immigrants being apprehended on the U.S.-Mexico border often take much longer journeys than the typical path of refugees who settle in camps and endure long waits to gain official refugee status and a home in the U.S.Some migrants cross into the U.S. illegally; others, like Hammouda and Shaaban, turn themselves in claiming asylum. They were among nearly 42,000 people to seek asylum in 2014 in the U.S., a more than 20 percent increase from 2010 .After two years of studying social work, Shaaban saved up money and left in 2010 .While Hammouda has been released, Shaaban has been denied asylum and has been ordered removed from the country, but the government hasn't found a place to send him because Palestine is not an officially recognized state.
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