Hundreds of migrants spend Christmas in El Paso

Immigration

Hundreds of migrants could be spending Chirstmas in El Paso.

On Monday, as the ICE buses pulled up to the Greyhound bus station, confused migrants with no money unloaded into the streets of El Paso.

Volunteers arrived with food almost immediately. This comes after a surprise drop off of almost 400 migrants Sunday night. 

We spoke to one migrant, Maria Molina who told KTSM “our country isn’t secure and there is no work.”

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) came to the park to talk to migrants. He said that ICE dropped the ball but they told him to expect 200 more migrants to be released tomorrow and on Christmas Day. 

It would sure be helpful if CBP gave us more warning,” said O’Rourke. “Mind you they are working during a government shut down most of them aren’t getting paid. (But) if they could just give us that heads up.” 

U.S. Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar issued a statement on the situation.

“Federal law enforcement officials in El Paso have long worked closely with Annunciation House, an El Paso non-profit that offers hospitality to immigrants. This collaboration ensures that migrants who have been processed by ICE do not end up on the streets of El Paso, homeless, hungry and without support,” Escobar said. “The federal government has an obligation to provide humane, temporary holding facilities for these migrants in their custody until they can be accepted by NGOs like Annunciation House. Quickly ridding themselves of those in their custody is not a solution. In fact, it puts adults and children at grave risk, and creates a crisis in our community.  

More migrants continue to show up by the minute. Some have been taken to other places on Sun Metro buses. 

However, by about 5:30 p.m. the last of the migrants were loaded into Sun Metro buses.

Meanwhile, the Annunciation House is accepting donations to help these individuals. On Facebook they have asked for:

  • Financial Donations: these allow us the most flexibility in meeting the diverse needs of our guests. We use financial donations to pay for the motels we are renting out to provide overflow shelter. We buy extra food when donations falter. We buy cleaning supplies and gas for our vehicles. We buy prescriptions for our guests and respond to urgent medical needs. Please consider donating at https://annunciationhouse.org/financial-donations/
  • Clothing: WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS OF USED CLOTHING. While we appreciate your generosity, we simply do not have the space or person-power to receive, sort, and store used clothing donations. They will not be accepted. We ask that you please respect our wishes and direct your used clothing donations elsewhere. If we ever start to run low on these donations, Annunciation House *directly* will put out a call to the community
  • Donations: We are accepting donations of NEW underwear, bras, and socks in sizes small & medium for men, women, and children. We are also accepting donations of boxes of fresh fruit, especially apples, tangerines/oranges, and bananas. These can be brought from 8am-8pm to 1003 E San Antonio Ave, El Paso, TX 79901
  • Meals: We need organized groups (usually church groups) willing to bring prepared meals to our various houses of hospitality to feed groups of 50-100 refugees. If you are a member of such a group that is interested, please email us with some basic information about your group and your availability at refugees@annunciationhouse.org
  • Volunteers: We are in need of volunteers, especially those willing to drive folks to the bus station and airport. If you are already volunteering, please contact your usual point of contact to inquire if additional help is needed. If you are not currently volunteering with us, please email us so that we can do a basic screening process: refugees@annunciationhouse.org. Please have patience with us in trying to respond as quickly as possibly and please understand that volunteers who show up unannounced will generally not be accepted.

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