EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – Officials with the City of El Paso and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) released a statement Sunday night, saying both the city and the office are prepared for any migrant surge in the Borderland.

Early Sunday morning more than 100 migrants were released directly to the streets of El Paso, as both Border Patrol facilities and local non-governmental organizations (NGO) had reach capacity.

Annunciation House, an NGO on the front lines of migrant care and issues, released a statement explaining the release. Via social media, the director of Annunciation House simply said ” [ICE] felt that they needed to release more refugees than what we had the capacity to receive…”

According to officials, their coordination with local nonprofit organizations, community groups and federal immigration enforcement agencies has been on-going for the last few months.

Their plan is to address the ongoing concerns related to the release of migrants in El Paso.

“We have already been engaged in the process, but we have now increased our efforts exponentially…to this end, we also have been working for weeks to convince the federal government to open military installations, given their logistics capabilities and proximity to us here in El Paso, but the federal government has not yet agreed to provide this support. To that end, we have increased our staffing who have the ground experience handling logistics and support for humanitarian efforts, including COVID-19 testing and response for the incoming population.”

Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino

The proactive preparation was activated several months ago in response to possible immigration policy changes at the federal level, as well as the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As in previous years, the City and OEM are providing support to this federal crisis as outlined by state and federal guidelines.

Federal agencies have been releasing single adults—with the majority of them being male—who are arranging their own transportation to their final destinations outside of El Paso.

The City and OEM are providing transportation support to the NGO partner locations, bus terminals and the airport, as appropriate.

During the holiday season in 2018, both the city and numerous non-governmental (NGO) agencies, as well as everyday El Pasoans came together to help migrants suddenly released in to the city.

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