El Paso Office of Emergency Management discusses impact of migrant arrivals


With the recent unscheduled releases of migrants, the El Paso Office of Emergency Management held a news conference to discuss the local impact when hundreds of migrants are dropped off unexpectedly. 

According to Emergency Management, the issue isn’t necessarily the number of migrants being dropped off; it’s when it happens with no warning. 

“The normal process is they schedule with our NGO’s (non-governmental organization) so there’s daily drop-offs with refugees. It’s these unscheduled drop offs that we can’t keep track of,” El Paso Fire Department Chief Mario D’Agostino tells KTSM.

According to Annunciation House, unannounced drop-offs rarely occur but things are now back to normal.

There’s a new directive now that requires medical screening exams for all released migrants under the age of 10.

The Executive of Border Regional Advisory Council, Wanda Helgesen, explained, “All children under the age of ten, but any other either demonstrates an illness or complain of illness or injury are transported by an agent to one of the facilities. They receive a medical screening exam and treatment is rendered there.”

One of the concerns for Annunciation House is the release of larger numbers of migrants after Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, visited the Borderland.

“If that proves to be the case, my hope is that we will be in contact. We will be told ‘look the numbers will go up so that we can sit in and say fine let’s work this out’ and we will work that out.”

According to a news release, Nielsen examined medical screening processes after a second migrant child died in U.S. custody earlier this week.

She also met with El Paso Mayor Dee Margo to discuss the region and our immigration needs on the border.

“I appreciate Secretary Nielsen taking the time to meet with me,” Margo wrote in part. “Our federal officials should visit the border when making decisions about our immigration system, and Secretary Nielsen’s visit is most welcome.”

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