EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso County leaders is expanding its migrant support services center to a new, larger location on Montana Ave.
In anticipation of the end of Title 42, the county has been working to set up the new, 17,000 square-foot center, located at 4121 Montana Ave., with the help of its contractor, The Providencia Group.
As KTSM previously reported, the county’s migrant support services center first opened on October 10, 2022, as the El Paso area saw an influx of migrants in the area.
Now, the County is moving to a facility that will allow the expansion of services to assist more individuals, if needed.
The U.S. government’s COVID-19 public health emergency is set to end on May 11—and with it the Title 42 order that has expelled over 2.5 million migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border.
“By May, the chances of Title 42 to be lifted are high and having a large number of migrants is likely, so we are trying to establish the center,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said. “The processing is a lifesaver because we are carving out a large number of individuals that don’t need to be in a shelter at one time.”
Services at the migrant support services center focus exclusively on facilitating self-pay travel needs of asylum seekers who have a sponsor or point of contact in the U.S. and who have the resources to travel to their destination quickly. It is not meant to be a shelter facility, according to county leaders.
“As long as we do these things, the community is safe, we want them to be safe and we also want to be humanitarian and make sure the individuals arrive at their destination as fast as they possibly can,” Samaniego said. “The process center streamlines what happens from one NGO to another NGO.”
The center will continue to operate between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days per week, 365 days per year. Arriving asylum-seekers will have a brief orientation of the process and are then assigned to a case worker where self-pay travel arrangements are coordinated.
As KTSM previously reported, the county has already been approved for FEMA advanced funding and are expected to be 100% reimbursed for associated expenses with the establishment of this center.
Samaniego said the goal of the center is to not only help facilitate the processing of asylum seekers, but to also help decompress resources, hospitality sites and detention facilities in El Paso.
The county will be giving media a tour of the facility on Thursday, this story will be updated.
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