El Paso organization prepares for migrant surge

El Paso News

Central American migrants making their way to the U.S. in a large caravan fill the truck of a driver who offered them the free ride, as they arrive to Tapachula, Mexico, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the Guatemala-Mexico border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the […]

Another surge of migrants is expected in El Paso as early as this week. 

However, these incoming refugees are not coming from the Central America caravan. 

The director of the Annunciation House said most of these refugees stay in El Paso for a couple of days and then leave.

They do not stay here, but while they are here they need a place to stay, said Ruben Garcia.

“People just reach the point where they say ‘no mas, I can’t’ for their children,” Garcia said.

That’s been the story of the 700 to 750 refugees the shelter has been getting on a weekly basis for months, Garcia said. That number is now expected to grow.

“Periodically, we get these surges, these spikes,” Garcia said.

He said 1,500 refugees are expected to be added to the 1,400 currently in immigration holding cells.

“This surge has nothing to do with the caravan,” Garcia said. “The caravan that people report upon is right now still on the border of Guatemala and Mexico.”

He said this upcoming flow of immigrants has been in the process far before the caravan of Central American migrants headed to the United States.

“The caravan is just a symbol of why people are leaving,” Garcia said. The corruption, the violence, the criminal organizations, the gangs.”

Although the shelter has prepared with temporary hospitality centers in churches, those have filled up.
The plan now is to rent two small hotels. 

“Obviously we need a lot of help, we appeal to churches to ask people in their communities to consider volunteering to help us,” Garcia said.  

This plea for new volunteers is because Garcia does not want to pull volunteers from any of the existing hospitality centers which are still operational. 

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